UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA LIBRARIES The Gift of Harry H. Griggs In Memory of Ethel B. Milam 3SURNAD9M ft COMM, PUBLICITY for PRESTIGE and PROFIT Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2012 with funding from LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation http://archive.org/details/publicityforpresOOstep PUBLICITY for PRESTIGE and PROFIT by HOWARD STEPHENSON, ll. d. President, Community Relations, Inc.; Chairman, Division of Public Relations, School of Public Relations and Communications, Boston University; formerly Lecturer in Public Relations, New York University and WESLEY FISKE PRATZNER, b.s., m.s. Acting Dean and Professor of Public Relations, School of Public Relations and Communications, Boston University Foreword by HAROLD C. CASE, s.t.b., d.d., litt. d. President, Boston University 1953 McGRAW-HILL BOOK COMPANY, INC NEW YORK TORONTO LONDON PUBLICITY FOR PRESTIGE AND PROFIT Copyright, 1953, by the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission of the publishers. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 53-9885 Foreword Thoughtful readers have been waiting for a book on pub- licity with an emphasis on quality of merchandise to be publicized and on strict adherence to the truth in talking about the product. There is a suspicion among people who read, or listen, or look that much publicity is designed to sell goods without too much concern for the facts about the commodity. The authors of Publicity for Prestige and Profit see pres- tige as "weight or influence derived from past success." They regard conduct as the key to the message, and expertness in stating the value of the product as an essential ingredient of prestige. Dr. Howard Stephenson and Professor Wesley Pratzner are experienced public relations counselors for industry, and their emphasis on publicity as a basic component for effec- tiveness in their profession provides persuasive argument for the proper use of good publicity and the resulting prestige. Incentive has become a key word in American industry. High wages, good working conditions, satisfaction among employees, and their enjoyment of high standards of living are so typical as to be called "the American way in indus- try." At the same time, the regularity and consistencv of profit for the enterprise is necessary to a healthy economic order. When profit is regarded as legitimate return for good per- vi Foreword formance rather than undisciplined greed, there is a basis for understanding the operation of industry. The free ex- change of ideas, conferences between employees and man- agement, the exposure to public forums, have brought proper checks and balances to industry. The new sense of total community responsibility for the health and welfare of em- ployees, for the long-range training of executives, for the sup- port of education and of other worthy projects, has brought industry into a new position in the eyes of the public. Public relations officers have exerted vast influence in this important area. Education and industry are recognizing their responsibility to their generation and moving into a partner- ship that has merit and promise. This book exhibits a thoughtful understanding of ideals, far beyond mere profit, that motivate business and industry today. The authors also present a convincing thesis for the improvement of understanding and liaison between business and education in order that they may join hands in serving the general public. Publicity for Prestige and Profit is a practical book. It will prove to be useful to students and practitioners alike. I have found it so as I have read it in manuscript. It tells how publicity and public relations are developed with effective- ness. Probably its most important contribution will be the discussion by the authors of the "why" of public relations and publicity. In the important field of public relations, this original and stimulating book will strengthen the hands of the leaders who are determined to develop a high-level pro- fession with growing influence on the American scene. HAROLD C. CASE President, Boston University Preface One of the valued elements of the typical American enter- prise is the prestige it gains and holds among the people on whose sufferance its success depends. This applies to the commercial, business, or industrial company or association, the nonprofit foundation or other social agency, and the governmental unit. To survive, each must acquire a measure of prestige. Publicity, the basic component of the art of cultivating good public relations, is a major means of developing pres- tige. In this book we have tried to clarify the position and func- tion of publicity in the American economy. The treatment is informal rather than scholarly. The subject matter is based upon our own experience in public relations and that of other practitioners. It has been used in teaching adult and undergraduate students, and much of the chapter on Reach- ing the Public: Audiences has appeared in Industrial Market- ing magazine. The groups to which the book is primarily directed are administrators of American enterprises who wish a practical acquaintance with the methods and conduct of publicity and related activities; professional public relations practitioners, men and women, who may use it as a reference and guide and as a text for the training of personnel; and college stu- dents of public relations and journalism. vii viii Preface Responsibility for statements in the book is exclusively that of the authors. To two public relations counselors in particular we owe special gratitude for the growth of our own conceptions of the philosophy and functions of pub- licity: G. Edward Pendray, senior partner of Pendray and Company and formerly assistant to the president of West- inghouse Electric Corporation, and John W. Hill, president of Hill & Knowlton, Inc. Thanks are also given to the following, whose careful reading and constructive comments on all or portions of the book have reduced its errors and added to its content: Howard W. Allen, Johns-Man ville Corporation; James A. Baubie, the Chrysler Corporation; Wendell Buck, public re- lations counselor; Harold Burson, Burson-Marstelle Com- pany; Tom Compere, Compere & Associates; Dr. Amo DeBernardis, Hill & Knowlton, Inc.; John J. Ducas, Hill & Knowlton, Inc.; Milton Fairman, The Borden Company; Harold Flynn, Jones and Breakley; Henry Clay Gipson, Film- fax Productions; George Glassman, United Press Special Services. Harriet Gormley, Westinghouse Electric Corporation; Bert C. Goss, Hill & Knowlton, Inc.; Samuel B. Gould, Cresap, McCormick & Paget; Merrick T. Jackson, Hill & Knowlton, Inc.; Charles P. Johnson, Westinghouse Electric Corporation; Clarence Judd, Fairchild Publications; M. R. Kaufmann, Hill & Knowlton, Inc.; Kerryn King, Hill & Knowlton, Inc.; Dr. Howard M. LeSourd; Floyd A. Lewis, Dudley, Anderson and Yutzy; Noel J. MacCarry, Lederle Laboratories Division, American Cyanamid Company, Farley Manning, Dudley, Anderson and Yutzy; Robert McDevitt, Pendray and Company; John Moynahan, Moyna- Preface ix han Associates; Walter H. Neff, United Air Lines; Howard P. Quadland, H. P. Quadland Company; Stewart Schackne, Standard Oil Company (N.J.); Weston Smith, Financial World; Stephen D. Smoke, Hill & Knowlton, Inc.; Dr. David M. White, Boston University; Robert E. Williams, Associa- tion of Consulting Management Engineers; Rader Winget, The Associated Press; Lawrence E. Witte, National Associa- tion of Manufacturers; and Thomas D. Yutzy, Dudley, An- derson and Yutzy. HOWARD STEPHENSON WESLEY F. PRATZNER Contents FOREWORD v PREFACE vii 1 PUBLICITY IN PUBLIC RELATIONS 1 2 HOW TO CULTIVATE NEWS SOURCES 10 3 REACHING THE PUBLIC: THE PRESS 36 4 REACHING THE PUBLIC: MAGAZINES 49 5 REACHING THE PUBLIC: BOOKS 64 6 REACHING THE PUBLIC: AUDIENCES 69 7 NEWS RELEASES 83 8 FEATURE ARTICLES 96 9 INDUSTRIAL PHOTOGRAPHY 108 10 TELEVISION AND RADIO 127 11 PUBLICITY ON THE SCREEN 142 12 PAMPHLETS, BROCHURES, AND MANUALS 164 13 CORPORATE JOURNALISM 178 14 PUBLICITY FOR INDUSTRIAL EXHIBITS 190 15 EXPLORING FOR HIDDEN TREASURE 204 16 COMMUNITY RELATIONS: AN INVESTMENT 217 17 COMMUNITY RELATIONS IN ACTION 230 18 WHEN THE NEWS IS BAD 249 19 THE COSTS OF PUBLICITY 260 20 PLANNING A PUBLICITY BUDGET 268 21 TOWARD MATURITY 278 BIBLIOGRAPHY 291 INDEX 297 xi chapter 1 Publicity in Public Relations Half the news just happens, like a million-dollar fire, a drought that threatens a city's water supply, or the traffic death toll on a holiday week end. This kind of news tends to be dolorous but can include happy events, as when brother and sister, torn from each other by the Nazis, meet on a street in America. But it depends on chance. The public's interest is caused by surprise. Accidental news is the result of the unforeseen, the un- predictable. Half the remainder is not accidental, but incidental: the Dodgers win in the eleventh, the stock market hits a new high, or the Supreme Court bans price fixing and a buyers' spree ensues. Incidental news depends on the outcome of a struggle. You can't know in advance which way the contest will go, but you are prepared for some decision. The public's interest, built up day by day, is based on expectation. The final one-fourth is planned news. Somebody sets out to make things happen, to call attention to himself, his wares, or his idea. Next year's auto models are put on display. They make headlines. A scientist predicts that the sea may yield our future food supply. The news hits front page. A union calls a crippling strike. Programs on the air arc intcr- 1 2 Publicity for Prestige and Profit rupted for a flash news bulletin. The public's interest has been carefully cultivated. Planned news is publicity. Unlike accidental and incidental news, it is produced with the deliberate intent of persuading and influencing people to take action— buy goods or services, support a cause, approve past conduct. Since the strongest argument is always the truth, the great mass of publicity consists of information. The man who wants to reach public attention may make a speech. He may buy advertising space or time. He may put on a show. He may merely distribute a statement. Whatever method of modern publicity he uses, his target is the public. This may mean the entire nation or only a selected group. If he is experienced, he fits the ammunition to the target and does not try to interest people whose interest would do him no particular good. This is known as restraint. Look through your daily newspaper, and you'll find traces of the work of professional publicity people in about one- fourth of the news and feature articles and photographs. Business and general magazines, radio and television pro- grams, yield like evidence, in varying proportions. Government, business, labor, educational, and social groups tell of their good works and explain their difficulties day in and day out, often around the clock. To channel the con- stant, swift stream of planned news and information that somebody wants to get to the public requires two groups of workers. First, writers, editors, and speakers, paid by the media— newspapers, radio, etc. Second, publicity people, paid by individuals or organizations with an ax to grind. It can be a legitimate ax, and usually is. The help of pro- fessional publicity people is recognized as essential by most Publicity in Public Relations 3 important organizations that want public esteem. It is also welcomed by editors in all fields, because it saves their staff time and gives them access to vast pools of information they could not otherwise tap. Publicity is one practical means by which American busi- ness puts its best foot forward. Management people as a whole are more inclined to use publicity than some less familiar tools of public relations. They understand it better, are able to measure and appraise its tangible results, and often can put a dollar-and-cents value on it. PUBLICITY AND ADVERTISING This is partly because publicity is akin to advertising, which is readily assessed in terms of goods or services sold. Management people have long used advertising techniques and are familiar with costs and media. They have seen pur- chase of space in newspapers and magazines, and of time on radio and television programs, translated into sales and profits. Thus there is no longer urgent need to "sell the idea" of advertising to American industry. The role played by ad- vertising in the unparalleled expansion of markets since 1900 is universally recognized. Large-scale publicity for industry is newer, and though it seldom accomplishes the immediate, direct sales stimulus that comes from advertising, it penetrates more deeply and often has more lasting effect. v The ads sell the product, but publicity sells the reputation^ of the manufacturer. As markets grow more competitive and products more standardized, the importance of company reputation as a sales factor increases. Publicity complements advertising and prepares the way for its acceptance. It also 4 Publicity for Prestige and Profit accomplishes other important goals which advertising cannot reach. Skepticism as to the truth of advertising, born of the decep- tive words of a few dishonest or overzealous advertising mavericks, always has been a real threat to ethical business. Abuse of publicity, stemming from the excesses of old- fashioned press agents, has fed public suspicion of the motives of business. But deceptive publicity dies an early death, because it is so often detected by the editors through whose hands it must pass before publication. On every copy desk there is a copy reader one of whose principal duties is to watch out for inaccuracy, exaggeration, and distortion of facts. The impartial editor, whether in news- paper, magazine, book, radio, or television work, is the publics guardian against misstatement. This very real protection of the public from false claims made in publicity is a great advantage to the purveyor of honest information about industrial companies. The char- latans do exist, and do occasionally mislead for a short while. But publicity, recognized as a respectable calling, has con- sistently raised its standards, has attracted men and women of character and technical ability, and has become widely accepted as a function of the top management in industry. PUBLICITY AND PUBLIC RELATIONS The terms "publicity" and "public relations" are often used as meaning the same thing. This is a confusion, but a natural one, because public relations as practiced today grew out of publicity, and contains publicity as its primary component. A management must come in contact with many sections of the public as well as with people generally. It has a com- Publicity in Public Relations 5 plex of ideas and persuasions which it is necessary to transmit to one or more of its publics. Among them are employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, government officials, edu- cators, students, and voters. The opinions formed in the minds of one or more of these publics may well be a deciding factor in the success of the enterprise. To influence some part of the public favorably toward the management is the task of public relations. This is accom- plished through the use of sight and sound. The pleasant voice of a telephone operator, the phraseology used in a sales letter, an appealing picture of an employee's child, a spon- sored entertainment program— all have the same final objec- tive, to make people like the company. Every contact of a company representative therefore has some public relations aspect. Advertising, employee communications, community wel- fare projects, annual financial reports, speeches, displays and exhibits, participation in philanthropies, establishment of scholarships and research fellowships, invitations to groups to visit the company's premises— all are public relations activities. Publicity is the principal and most widely employed method of obtaining good relations with important sections of the public. Some public relations activities are entirely comprised of publicity, some only tangential to it. Publicity often provides a widening out of the effects of a public relations project. A new advertising appropriation, for example, may be the subject of a publicity story for the trade press and metropolitan newspapers. A safety campaign in a plant may be made effective through use of publicity outside as well as within the company. Local newspapers, 6 Publicity for Prestige and Profit television, and radio cover the news of a community event. Thousands who do not receive a copy of an annual report are nevertheless acquainted with the kernel of its message through publicity. The gist of an address given before a hun- dred persons may reach a million by press and radio. Pictures of a product demonstration in one city may be seen all through the country in newspapers, magazines, television, and newsreels. PUBLICITY AND INDUSTRY The twin goals of an industrial company are profits and prestige. If these were always of equal import, one perfectly balancing off the other, the publicity man's work would be simplified. But objectives shift and change; profit and pres- tige come into momentary conflict. To decide where em- phasis must fall requires the best judgment available to management. The publicity man, whether or not concerned with establishing basic policies, is expected to help imple- ment them. He is the public's representative in manage- ment. A new improvement on a product, for example, might render former models obsolete. How far shall the company go, in unloading the old models at a good profit? When the new one is introduced, should losses on dealers' old stocks be absorbed? Should the public be encouraged to buy the old or wait for the new? When is the proper timing for announce- ment of the change— in the research stage, on completion of a prototype, at the moment when sales plans have been per- fected, or after new stocks are in dealers' hands? Each decision involves a risk. The greatest risk of all is that of acceptance by the public. By proper use of publicity, Publicity in Public Relations 7 planned news, the chances of favorable reception are greatly increased. When companies serving New York State communities with artificial gas decided to sell a mixture of natural and artificial gas instead, two years were devoted to advance preparation of the public to use the changed product. Experi- ences in other states were studied, answers to probable ques- tions prepared, and an elaborate publicity program, also involving advertising, worked out in detail long before the mixed gas was available. An electrical-appliance manufacturer prepared to intro- duce an automatic washing machine. Only top management and a compact design and engineering team were aware of the innovation. Such secrecy was observed that experimental models were made in padlocked quarters. Market analysis, production schedules, sales promotion had to wait. But publicity, building the company's prestige and good name with the housewives who would use the appliance —that couldn't be accidental or incidental. It had to be pro- grammed far in advance. For this reason the publicity-department head was made part of top management's planning board on the project from the start. His advice was needed on the all-important matters of timing, selection of a proper place and occasion for public announcement. As the representative of the public in management, he was expected to be sensitive to public moods and reactions. Also he was considered best equipped to prevent premature leaks of information. He was made part of top management not to please him or recognize his merit, but because he had a basic management function to perform. 8 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Some companies entrust basic management problems in- volving the public to experienced outside public relations counsel rather than staff members. This is a matter of choice. The pros and cons are discussed in Chapters 19 and 20. The readiness of management to use public relations and publicity personnel in arriving at decisions is still far from universal. The trend is growing, because managements which have taken the step have found that it works well. PUBLICITY AND THE PUBLIC As a rule, the public does not know or care whether the news and information it gets is accidental, incidental, or planned, as long as it is interesting and true. Therefore the publicity man should be given the utmost freedom in reach- ing the public through all the channels by which it learns what is going on in the world. Publicity men and women contribute to encyclopedias, dictionaries, proceedings of learned societies, reports of official commissions, dispatches of diplomats, communiques of military commanders, and utterances of statesmen and religious leaders. So their work is not confined to the ephem- eral news or feature article, though that is usually their principal concern. A publicity man who chooses to publicize himself is an oddity. Most of them may not have a "passion for anonym- ity," but they find it good business. They do not sit at the speakers' table and do not pose for photographs with com- pany executives; most of the material they write appears under someone else's signature, or none at all. A few public relations counseling organizations carry on publicity activities for themselves, using the same medicine Publicity in Public Relations 9 they prescribe for others. In such cases, the organization is considered a "client," and a member of the firm is assigned to the "account" just as if it were an outside concern. It is always understood and taken for granted that a pub- licity man is working for and is paid by a person or organiza- tion, and that what he writes is in the interest of that person or organization. He does not expect payment from his em- ployer and then additional payment from a publication for the same work. The key to his acceptance as a link in the chain of communication is trust in his integrity. He is re- quired to be what he represents himself to be, an advocate. His integrity must go even further. Everything he writes or says, or causes others to write or say in the interest of his employer, should also be in the public interest. This is an obligation imposed on few other hired men. An attorney does his full duty in serving his client, though he may not believe in his client's case. He engages in a debate, and must do everything in his power to help his client win. But the publicity man is in a different fix. If his employer is engaged in indefensible practices affecting the public, which he refuses to change, the publicity worker, weighing his responsibilities to employer and to public, may have to make a decision as to which he shall serve. He does not have the protection of ancient custom as does the lawyer. He is obliged to put the public interest first, even if that means to sever his business connection. If this seems to demand a harsh application of self- discipline, the publicity worker should nevertheless be pre- pared to make it. The occasions will be few in which such a choice is forced upon him. But to make it is to guard his future as a respected member of a profession. chapter 2 How to Cultivate News Sources Your success in publicity will be based on consistent ability to do three things: Find good stories to tell. Tell them well. Get them published to the right readers and listeners. This deceptively simple formula will be our guide through this book, and in this chapter we'll examine the first step, how to find good stories to tell. Let's suppose that you have been assigned to organize the publicity for a manufacturing concern, that you have the education and ability needed, that the work is new to you, and that there is nobody much to lean on. You are on your own, given the responsibility to establish procedures, make decisions— and get good stories. YOUR PUBLIC RELATIONS Your immediate objective is to make yourself known in a favorable way to those above or below you or at your side. Act according to your own temperament. Some persons could sit at the same desk every day for a month and scarcely be observed; others become acquainted all over the place in a day or so. The best way to gain notice is not 10 How to Cultivate News Sources 11 to seek direct attention, but to get work done that compels it. To illustrate: A publicity man obtained a chart of the management per- sonnel, the top executives. He pasted it on a sheet of card- board and kept it in the middle drawer of his desk. He familiarized himself with names and titles, and studied photographs of executives in the publicity files, so that he would recognize them when he saw them. Those who had not recently had photographs taken were asked to do so, through the publicity office. By the time proofs were sub- mitted, choice of the best pose made, and three glossy prints of the final photograph handed to each subject, the pub- licity man had begun a series of acquaintanceships that served to identify him in the minds of the executives, in connection with his work. Establishing working arrangements in secondary echelons of management often requires even more attention than with those near the top. One may encounter indifference, or even skepticism or hostility, when the public relations function is not familiar or not understood. On the other hand, many minor executives are eager for recognition and will give co- operation. Whatever the attitude, it is wise to start early to set up relationships on a going basis, and equally important to continue this work. Nothing is more difficult to overcome than a feeling of neglect. An Integrated Policy An integrated publicity policy means that news from all parts of the organization flows to the publicity office, and also that news is given out only with its knowledge and sanction. Such a policy has these obvious advantages: 12 Publicity for Prestige and Profit 1. One source in the company to which editors and writers come for information, thus saving their time and that of company officials. 2. Coordination of publicity, so that half a dozen stories do not go out one day, and none at all the next. 3. Prevention of harmful rivalry, and jockeying for pub- licity attention, among company department heads. This does not mean that nobody but the publicity man talks to editors and writers. The contrary is true. He spends a great deal of time setting up meetings of the press ( daily, business, etc. ) with key men in the company. The net result is fair and beneficial, and the company gains a reputation with the press for being easily accessible. A fourth advantage, which should be clearly pointed out to management, is that an integrated publicity policy saves many executive man-hours, hence many dollars, in the course of a year's operation. CONDUCTING AN INTERVIEW Most of the material which will result in publicity for the company is gathered by the publicity staff who cover the plant or the various divisions and departments just as dili- gently as an outside newspaper reporter covers the beat assigned to him. To report industrial news effectively and accurately demands the use of a notebook. Most of the in- formation is to be gathered in personal interviews, supple- mented, of course, by records and printed or written material supplied by various other employees. In reporting some types of news, newspaper reporters do not take any notes at all. The sight of a notebook is quite likely to make the man or woman who is the source of news How to Cultivate News Sources 13 self-conscious, and therefore good reporters have to train themselves to remember accurately without taking notes until the interview is over. This does not apply, however, to the publicity man dealing with company news sources. Instead of the source's being scared off by the sight of a notebook, he is quite likely to be reassured. The company man or woman who is inter- viewed feels some sense of security because the interviewer is part of the organization and quite obviously is not out to publish anything damaging. The sight of the notebook is evidence that the publicity man intends to get his facts straight. This impression will be measurably strengthened by telling the person interviewed that nothing will be re- leased without proper clearances. It is important for the publicity worker to be meticulous in his preparation for the interview. The following ten sug- gestions for conducting successful interviews are not in- tended to be followed rigidly but to be adapted to the individual occasion: 1. Do not be casual in your approach. Neatness of physical appearance is important. Small details make an impression, sometimes unconscious, which may have an influence on the responsiveness of the person to be interviewed. Be sure that you have a pen or pencil in working order and some paper or a notebook. The back of an old envelope just won't do for this purpose. A quick glance in the mirror before you approach the interview will enable you to make sure that everything about your appearance is in order. Remember that when you are writing notes, your hands are conspicuous and therefore special attention should be paid to the nails. Many good interviewers are slightly nervous at the start. A 14 Publicity for Prestige and Profit good way to mitigate this nervousness is to take one or two deep breaths before opening the door for the interview. This has a physiological as well as psychological effect and contributes to poise and self-assurance. 2. If the interview is to take place in the building where you are employed, hat and coat may be left in your own office. If it is in a plant or office to which you would cus- tomarily wear a hat, keep your hat with you: do not leave it in an outside office. If you are a man, carry the hat in your left hand. If you are a woman, continue to wear your hat through the interview. If you walk in without a hat, you may be giving the impression that you have come for a long visit; and this may set up some of the unconscious re- sistance which you should make every effort to avoid. 3. Leave extraneous materials behind. This applies to the daily newspaper, the casual magazine or book, or the odd parcel. It is quite acceptable to carry in with you a brief case containing papers which are to be used in the inter- view. The point here is not to have anything with you which is going to distract attention from the interview. 4. It is difficult for some people to cross an office from the door to the desk of the man who occupies the office. Walk in a straight line; don't start in one direction, then change. Don't slouch and don't hurry. Never walk about the room admiring the pictures or gadgets on the wall, at least until the interview is well under way. Such movement distracts attention from the work at hand. Exhibit your own com- posure by keeping hands and feet still except when in useful motion. 5. Look directly at the person you are to interview when you shake hands. This moment of sizing each other up is How to Cultivate News Sources 15 all-important. If you are invited to sit down, do so at once and do not sit on the edge of your chair or slump down in it. 6. Be careful to talk rather slowly. During the first few minutes of your conversation the person being interviewed is getting acquainted with you and your manner. The words you say do not make much impact. Therefore do not lead off by asking an important question. This does not mean that you should try to exhaust the topic of the weather or any other extraneous subject. Two or three minutes is long enough to devote to getting settled down into the interview and to begin asking questions that count. 7. No matter what the attitude or manner of the person you are interviewing, do not be curt or brisk in your ques- tions. Express as few opinions of your own as you can. After all, it is the interviewee's ideas, not yours, that you are after. When you have asked a question, pause and give the other man a chance to think before he answers. Moments of silence in an interview are often fruitful. Rushing an interview is a sure way to get only superficial and not thoughtful answers. 8. After you have gathered the information you need, make it clear that there will be future steps: interviews with others; pictures, reports, or data to be sent to you; a tele- phone call from you, to check your facts; submission of the write-up for approval. Whatever it is, the idea should be firmly implanted that though the interview has been con- cluded, the project has not, and further contact will be made. You have aroused curiosity by your call; give some indica- tion that it will be satisfied. Some practiced interviewers make a point of always asking for something at the end of the session, to emphasize the importance of future steps. Others follow up with a brief note, as a reminder of their 16 Publicity for Prestige and Profit identity. Even more important than the information gathered in a first interview is the impression one leaves. This impres- sion is more likely to be good if the person interviewed looks with expectation for future results. 9. At the first possible moment, after you have left the immediate place of the interview, read your notes thoroughly and then write them up. The notes should be expanded while the recollection of the words still is fresh in your mind. If you put off doing this until the next day, or the next week, half the flavor of the interview will be gone, and you will find that you have only a hazy recollection of the facts you noted down. If a point is not clear, go back or phone back to clarify it. Most men will welcome this evidence of sin- cerity. Don't be afraid to admit you didn't understand. 10. As an alternative to the person-to-person interview the questionnaire method is sometimes used to gather in- formation. This is done by writing out questions and sending them to the appropriate person and asking him to write out the answers. Written questions and answers have the advan- tage of clear-cut statements. They are most useful as a sup- plement to the face-to-face interview, not as a substitute. After contacts have been established through the organ- ization, considerable information will naturally be gathered by telephone. It is just as important to have pencil and paper at hand during this kind of information gathering as it is in a personal interview. With busy men time and distance may prevent a personal visit for a while, but it is good practice to make at least one personal call on every individual who is likely to be a con- tinuing source of news, in order to establish a personal acquaintance. How to Cultivate News Sources 17 COMPANY SPOKESMAN The chief executive officer of a company is its principal spokesman for all public utterances. Usually he is the chair- man or the president of the company. Again and again at- tempts are made by companies, large and small, to have two spokesmen and sometimes even three on policy matters affecting all company affairs, but this practice is seldom suc- cessful. Both editors and readers like to identify a company with a personality, and it is confusing when too many per- sonalities are involved. The president should be one of the best of the publicity man's news sources; yet too often he is really neglected— that is, his name is used only in connection with the annual report or other financial news about the company. Among occasions when he may properly make the announcement are promotions and appointments of executives, new plant installations and expansions, support of philanthropies and other public-spirited activities, and unveiling of new prod- ucts. How far down the news line should the president go as spokesman? This is a question never completely solved, and differing widely according to the size of the company, the number and location of plants, and, to be realistic, the per- sonalities concerned. The president of a company which had decided to move its executive offices to another city made the announcement himself. The president of another com- pany had authorized purchase of additional acreage in a Western state which he had never even visited. He saw the wisdom of having the announcement come from the divi- sional manager in that locality. 18 Publicity for Prestige and Profit One company has a rule that matters of sufficient impor- tance to be passed on by the board of directors are an- nounced by the president, while other news emanates from whatever executive is in charge of a project. Another once set up a rigid regulation that only the president could speak for the company. This led to the absurdity of quoting the president of this large company on the purchase of new uniforms for a plant sof tball team in a distant city. In theory that could have been defended, but actually it caused re- sentment, not on the part of the local manager, but of the local editors in the plant city. It bolstered the claim that this was a big "foreign" company, which ruled every move of the local plant from "Wall Street." Most widespread companies are so fearful of local hostility of this nature that they go to some lengths to emphasize the degree of local autonomy the plant managers enjoy. Here again discretion is needed. The local plant city should appreciate the local character of company management. But if this goes too far, then the headquarters of the company dwindles in importance to the community. And there may be occasions when the headquarters needs a bond of fa- miliarity with local community leaders. A division of a company of national scope had so empha- sized that the local manager ran the local outfit, that when the time came for him to be advanced and moved to head- quarters, the top-management group that visited the plant to take over were treated like strangers and interlopers. Slavishly following a good rule resulted in bad public re- lations. A device used by some ingenious publicity departments is to quote from a division head his report made to the presi- How to Cultivate News Sources 19 dent. Thus in one company a new research development was the subject of an executive conference to which the press was invited. The president introduced the head of the research division, commented on the division's work, and described how it fitted into the other company operations. Then the research head, reporting to the president, told him— as other executives and newsmen listened— not only the research news, but how the president had backed up and insisted on company support of a project that had involved a consider- able financial gamble. In this way the publicity was not limited to the science columns. The significance of the company's economic partici- pation was underlined. The president retained his role as principal company spokesman, without detracting from the credit due the research staff. By linking up research and economics, the publicity man who had arranged the execu- tive conference built up a story that appealed to many edi- torial writers. He did not neglect to cover them, as well as news desks, with copies of the news release. DIVISION AND DEPARTMENT HEADS To organize news sources within a division or department, start with the top man, but do not stop there. He is the man under whose authority you must work. His ideas on the kind of publicity most useful to his department interests are of value. Do not overlook them in developing your own. Do not be hasty in "selling" him a departmental publicity pro- gram. Ride along at his speed, at least until you have a good grounding on the possibilities. He will understand your need for a few weeks of exploratory work, but if you rush to re- lease the first good story you turn up, your stability may be 20 Publicity for Prestige and Profit questioned in his mind. The more responsible your approach, the better he will be reassured. Remember that publicity may be an unfamiliar realm. Instead of telling him at once all about publicity possibilities, lend an ear. Observe the restrictions he imposes, even if they seem overcautious. The time to remove them comes later; yield at first, rather than make an impression as an arguer. All in good time, he will listen to reason if from the start you have been reasonable. The preferable arrangement is to establish the department head as your main point of contact. If he is not readily avail- able, ask him to delegate a senior executive in his department to work with you. This man will help you make a publicity audit or survey by one or more trips through the department, during which you meet supervisors and other key people, and will provide continuous access to news of the depart- ment. The kind of news and feature material you collect will vary among departments according to the characteristics of their work and those of their managerial personnel. You will be required to maintain a balance and a perspective, not always an easy task, because some departments are richer sources than others and your own interests will cause you to favor some over others. Nobody expects a mechanical evenness of coverage, but learn not to stay away from de- partments less cordial than others, and not to be over- whelmed by department heads who seek more than their share. RESEARCH The research department has secrets. They may be mili- tary, in which case you will sometimes be supplied with de- tails in confidence, but more often be stopped at locked How to Cultivate News Sources 21 doors. Loss of a photograph that was entrusted to a publicity man for reference, and not for release, almost landed him in Leavenworth during World War II. Make it a rule not to take the responsibility of keeping classified material in publicity files. If the secret is merely a professional one, be vigilant to guard the company's interest. Do not discuss it outside the research department, for that would surely build you a bad reputation with those who trusted you. There is a tempta- tion at times to indicate that one is on the "inside," but it is wiser to appear ignorant than garrulous. Many research men do not recognize the legitimate pub- licity values in their work. Caution is needed at first in even suggesting possibilities. Once confidence is established, how- ever, and a few stories are produced accurately, you will find the scientists eager to tell of the wonderland they are exploring. Science-news reporting has improved markedly in the past decade. One result has been the adoption of a more favorable attitude by scientists toward releasing news to the general public. It still may be necessary for the first announcement to come through a paper presented before a technical society or published in a scientific journal. A general publicity release may be timed to coincide with the appearance of the journal. You can be of assistance here, to the degree that you understand the special language of the particular branch of research concerned. Your help might be to find simpler ways of expression. The long, involved sen- tence is no clearer to the scientific reader than to another, and dull writing, once taken as an evidence of erudition, now is recognized as a stumbling block. Retaining respect for the research man's professional in- 22 Publicity for Prestige and Profit hibitions should not lead you to acquire a negative attitude yourself. Amazing stories can come out of research inter- views. An explanation by one serious scientist that resonance properly produced could result in the fall of the walls of Jericho, and of another that man's future food supply may come from the plankton in the oceans, needed the touch of the publicity man to bring them to general attention. So do not hesitate to ask, when there is a question in your mind. The answer might be yes, and if the scientist has reason to trust your judgment, he will frequently let you know it. ENGINEERING The publicity problem with the engineer resembles that with the research scientist— and so does the opportunity. The engineer is liable to think the interviewer knows more about a subject than is the case, and may object to making statements that appear A B C to him, but are needed to clarify the main facts. A careful but not flippant explanation that many who will read the publicity story are unschooled and that therefore the simplest terms are needed will do won- ders in getting away from the professional nomenclature. This, however, should not invite inaccuracy. To the struc- tural engineer there is a difference between a beam and a column, a girder and a joist. At the risk of giving the engineer a low opinion of his intelligence, the interviewer should get such distinctions clear in his mind before he starts to write. Ask and ask again if need be. A simple handbook on the engineering subject under discussion, or even an ordinary large dictionary, will help supplement what one learns in person from the engineers. The engineer is a good source for obtaining striking com- How to Cultivate News Sources 23 parisons. He will figure out for you how many times the annual production of cable would go around the earth; whether a beam of light, given a clear night and a proper parabolic reflector, could reach the moon; how many man- hours of labor are saved by his new device; how long the Empire State Building will remain standing; how many ele- phants could be suspended from a structural steel member without breaking it. This is a realm in which he delights; but proceed slowly and not at your own risk. Such comparisons should always be rational and germane. They should not be used merely to provide good copy; they should clarify a concept. Never, if there is an engineer within a thousand miles, do your own calculating for these bright comparisons which do so much to enliven popular journalism. For you will be tempted to leave out the qualifications the engineer insists on, and one misstep in this direction is probably all you will be per- mitted to make. A little learning, in engineering as in other subjects, is a dangerous thing. Research men and engineers need patient explanation of publicity methods and objectives. They are in general a bright lot, but they are naive about reporting and publicity. Some of them think that if they tell a publicity man about their projects, a distorted interpretation will appear in news- papers immediately. The publicity man must prove by performance that he respects the confidence and dignity of the research man or engineer; but he need not always agree to a cautious, unro- mantic treatment of an interesting story. Sometimes there are legal reasons for giving priority to publication of a story in a technical journal, but usually the 24 Publicity for Prestige and Profit research man just prefers to do it that way. His primary interest is in informing and impressing his professional coun- terparts in other companies, and he wants to tell them first in his own way. This may lose control of the story, and the pub- licity man should attempt to persuade the research man to consider which method of breaking a given story will be most beneficial to the company. STATISTICAL A good statistician is a historian and a prophet. The statis- tician, who may be the controller or one of his assistants, has at his finger tips knowledge of the company and of the industry which seldom comes to light but would make excel- lent copy. Reflecting the public's constant interest in the fu- ture, all editors are alert to predictions. What is the trend? What new influences are developing, likely to change things as they are, make them better or worse? Has the building boom passed its peak? Has the automobile market become saturated? Will the new, versatile types of sewing machine affect the ready-to-wear dress market? To what extent will synthetic fibers affect cotton and wool markets in the next year? Will the paper-backed book help or hinder sales of cloth-bound books? Answers to questions such as these affect jobs, pocket- books, investments, personal and commercial plans of mil- lions. The trend in buying habits, never quite stable, never entirely predictable, still can be forecast, within limits, by those who make a continuous market study. Most companies consider such statistical studies essential. Sagacious com- panies often publicize the beginnings of a trend in the hope of strengthening it. In the history and growth of the company, the record of How to Cultivate News Sources 25 employment and payrolls, of purchases, taxes, development of product lines, and expansion of markets, the controller, treasurer, or statistician can open the door to a rich mine of information. The publicity man can collect this type of material, write up the facts, organize files of old and historic pictures, sketches, catalogues, and sales literature. Thus the publicity department enriches its news and feature output, not only by individual stories based on the past, or by a com- pany history, invaluable though these are. A paragraph, a reference, a comparison to some phase of the company a quarter or half century ago can bring home to the reader an impression that this is a stable, thoroughly rooted enterprise. Recognition of dependability and good repute are not to be built up overnight, or in bald state- ments or boasting. By weaving into the entire publicity out- put, over a year, occasional references to the company's past, a favorable light is shed without forcing it on the public. In the rush of getting todays work done, publicity people may seldom pause and survey their work and that of the company in the light of the past. By this omission they fail to give depth and power to much of their output. The present obviously is the main theme, but the past and future, the realms of the statistician, should be called on for their con- tributions, too. PRODUCTION As the mainstream of factory life, the production or manu- facturing department provides material for publicity in great volume, unspectacular as a rule, but capable of clinching" two major impressions that management wants to make: 1. This company makes good goods. 2. This company is a good place to work. 26 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Publicity on Processes The argument that the company makes good products is fortified by publicizing quality-control techniques, effi- ciency, cost saving, simplification and speed, and processes and methods which involve out-of-the-ordinary machinery and equipment. It is implied that a company alert and intelli- gent enough to develop and adapt improved and modern manufacturing methods passes the benefits along to the pur- chaser. He is influenced by this type of publicity to believe he is dealing with an up-to-date, imaginative, and progressive company. Much publicity concerned with manufacturing processes and methods is published in trade and business magazines. By a curious paradox, the best way yet found for a manu- facturer to convince his customers of his advanced produc- tion skills is to tell "how to do it," thus exposing what might have been closely guarded secrets to all who are interested- including his competitors. Any loss caused by lifting the veil from the modern Ameri- can factory and revealing details of the art has been shown to be minimal, in view of the public relations gains that come with a reputation for being smart. The interchange of ideas through technical and trade magazines is an outstanding characteristic of our present-day production system. Its effect in multiplying production is no longer debatable. The contribution of the publicity man, a valued ally of the indus- trial editor, in inducing management to let production meth- ods be disclosed, is substantial. Because the publicizing of manufacturing processes has become so generally accepted, the publicity man finds his How to Cultivate News Sources 27 way a little easier here than with research men and engineers. But he cannot expect factory men to do his thinking for him, to recognize publicity possibilities in what seem to them merely logical ways of doing things. It is the publicity man who must see the story in a plant layout, in the examination of red-hot turbine blades by a camera, in the magic of a machine that "thinks" more quickly and accurately than a human brain. He is paid for this recognition, this application of imagination to mechanical equipment and processes. It is his ability to see a story in the manufacturing aisle where a thousand others take the wonders of production for granted that makes him worth his salt. Publicity on People The people in a factory are always more interesting than the machines. It is they who provide the publicity man with ammunition for convincing the public that his company is a good place to work. This impression, so valuable to man- agement, has two purposes: 1. To prevent labor turnover and attract new first-rate labor supply. 2. To induce the customer to like the product because he likes the management. Take the company safety program as an illustration: A worker prefers surroundings where he is relatively safe to those where no protection is afforded. A normal customer would rather buy shoes or any other article made by a company that is proud of its safety record than by one that doesn't care. While the fact that safety measures pay for themselves many times in hard dollars may theoretically provide the 28 Publicity for Prestige and Profit primary appeal to management, from the publicity point of view it is the emotional values that are most convincing. A completely automatic factory would be a poor publicity source after the first announcement. Since, therefore, it is the people who make up the publicity wellspring, the pub- licity man should work through the personnel department in the factory, to discover hidden treasures among men and women on the payroll. Some examples: Three generations work in same department Pink lights increase girl operators' production $1,500 in prizes for suggestions Shop steward's son wins company scholarship Ericsson's descendant helps design Navy ship These are not world-beating stories, but they are human, and that is the test. Whenever a worker is made to seem successful, distinguished, clever, or even beautiful, the reader unconsciously deepens his impression that this factory is a good place to work. If it were not, would likable folks of this sort work there? That is the implication of all personnel publicity. It is not starkly stated, of course, but the same purpose underlies it all. The personnel department, which has the facilities for digging out the human interest in the manufacturing plant, is a valuable publicity ally. But again, even the personnel man should not be called on to do the publicity job. He can help locate the quarry, but the public- ity man must bring it down. SALES The sales department is the main source of publicity about the company's products. Top-management, research, engi- How to Cultivate News Sources 29 neering, statistical, and production material form a useful publicity background, but it is sales that determine what new products go into the line, how they shall be priced, where marketed, and when exposed to public view. For con- venience publicity is usually spoken of as either institutional or product publicity. All departments and divisions we have considered so far in this chapter contribute directly to in- stitutional publicity. Indirectly, of course, all of them also relate to sales, which is the hub of the wheel and is con- cerned with products and thus with product publicity. Advertising and sales promotion are part of the sales de- partment. The publicity department works very closely with them, exchanging ideas and information, but guarding against losing its identity in them. Typically, the basic idea for a new product springs from the results of scientific research. It is put on a practical and workable basis by engineering. It is produced in the factory. The market is developed and held by advertising and sales promotion, and the actual selling transaction, through distributor, wholesaler, and retailer, is carried out by sales. When it is agreed that a new product is ready, the prac- tice is to stage an exhibit, to which potential customers are invited. This usually is preceded by one day by a press show- ing, handled by the publicity department (see Chapter 14). Photographs and publicity material, prepared in advance, are released for publication at this time. In most cases, the publicity department has already given out some information. When the basic idea was matured in the research laboratory, that was occasion for a science storv. Thereafter it is likely that little was said until the product 30 Publicity for Prestige and Profit was made ready for market. The period in between may have been months or even years. Product publicity does not necessarily cease when a new item has been marketed. New uses and applications, spec- tacular installations, and the like can keep the news and feature stories going. The bulk of product publicity, however, comes along simultaneously with introduction of the product. The publicity man receives the information available, pre- pares releases and photographs, coordinates his timing with sales and advertising, plans special events, and looks to dis- tribution of the publicity to every appropriate outlet. The difficulties he went through in collecting institutional publicity material are absent; the sales department is eager to supply everything needed for publicity. The publicity mans chief concern is timing; and this is no minor problem, for he may have to maintain his right to release publicity first, before advertising is published, against the eager sales department which sometimes would prefer that the adver- tising come first. The inexperienced publicity man who con- sents to try to get his material published in the wake of an advertising campaign will have a hard lesson to learn in editors' offices. Large companies no longer attempt it, and the present trend is all on the side of publicity first, then advertising. OUT-OF-TOWN PLANTS From branch plants, located in cities away from head- quarters, the publicity department can draw in a limited amount of publicity. These also make good distribution points for general company publicity in their own communi- ties and regions. How to Cultivate News Sources 31 The Minor Unit A manufacturing unit that turns out machine parts, a bottling or other packaging plant, or even a warehouse with repair and maintenance facilities may seem uninspiring, until we recall that most publicity is based on people. An occasional trip to the most obscure company plant will yield something. It will contribute, if nothing else, to the extremely valuable identification of the company with the local com- munity. A good reporter's eye is bound to discover some interesting personality, a record of achievement of which local management has cause to be proud, or an outstanding contribution to the community. One company obtained national publicity by reporting that five mayors, fourteen city councilmen, two state legis- lators, and twenty-three other public officials made their livings as company employees in various plants. Their jobs ranged from machinist to works manager. This story had a point beyond its novelty interest. It indicated that in the ranks and management of the company civic responsibility, public service, social obligation were taken seriously. It is this type of publicity, often based on the humblest sources, that builds a company reputation. In its own way it is just as valuable as the spectacular story of monster pro- duction or enormous payrolls. When a company becomes large enough to operate branches scattered widely over the map, it is in danger of being singled out because of its bigness and, just because it is Big Business, subjected to hostility it may not deserve. In the branch plant located in a small community, the far-reaching enterprise has its opportunitv to build a local reputation that offsets such criticism. The 32 Publicity for Prestige and Profit publicity department, therefore, that takes the trouble to cultivate its sources in the small branch plant demonstrates that it not only recognizes major company public relations problems, but takes helpful action on them. The Major Branch In size and importance branch plants range all the way from the tiny local unit to the self-contained factory that occupies many acres and is the principal industry of its own community. A large branch establishment has its own iden- tity, its own set of local community problems, and possibly its own publicity staff, dealing with media somewhat as if it were an independent company. But it is not an independent company. Therefore the pub- licity staff at headquarters should specifically define where local plant responsibility begins and ends. Communication between branch and home office should be continuous, by exchange of personal visits by staff members, periodic con- ferences, and daily use of telephone, telegraph, or mail. The headquarters publicity staff should see to it that when the president or other top-management executive pays a visit to the branch-plant city, he is made acquainted with news- paper publishers, radio-station owners, and leading citizens. Occasions should be arranged for company heads to speak before local business organizations and service clubs. The local works manager or division head also participates in these events, introducing the headquarters officials. By these means local businessmen are given respect for the prestige and standing of the local plant head within his own company. They also are made to feel that their city ^ and themselves are regarded as important. Any idea that a "for- How to Cultivate News Sources 33 eign" group has set up a plant here to exploit the local com- munity and take its money away is dissipated when friendly community relations are established. When a well-defined intracompany relationship brings company heads and branch-plant city leaders together from time to time, the publicity man's efforts have paid off. DOWN-THE-LINE SOURCES Throughout the company, in day-to-day work, the digger for good publicity stories will meet many people casually— receptionists, secretaries, clerks, draftsmen, foremen, per- sonnel assistants, messengers, chauffeurs, cafeteria attend- ants, guards, and guides, to mention a few. Among these people, so often ignored and taken for granted, he can find the clues to many excellent stories, not by probing, but by listening. If the publicity man maintains the dignity of his position, limits his communication to a stiff "good morning," and on the whole acts like a stranger, he can go on being a stranger to these people for years. If he swoops down, however, with a falsely hearty greeting followed by questions about mat- ters that are none of his business, he will meet frozen faces and be followed by suspicion. The one character more de- spised by minor employees than a stuffed shirt is a company spy. With the best intentions, a publicity man is in danger, especially in unfamiliar places, of being put into one of those categories, simply because he represents top manage- ment. But by acting naturally, showing a genuine and not a fake interest in his fellow employees in all ranks, the publicitv man is in a superior position to learn the legitimate news of what's going on. 34 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Loyal employees are proud of seeing their company and especially their plant given public recognition, and they know it is the publicity man who obtained it. All he has to do is be friendly, honest, trustworthy— and soon the word will travel over the grapevine that he truly "belongs." To reach this point is a worth-while achievement for any publicity man or woman. But why go to this bother, when regular avenues are open to more official sources of information? The reason is that most executives do not have the capacity for recognizing publicity material, except the most obvious, while the "little people," the humble employees, spend more of their leisure time looking at newspapers, magazines, and television and listening to radio. They are representative of the public toward which publicity is directed, and the things that interest them about the company will interest thousands of people like them. Information gathered from down-the-line sources obvi- ously must be considered as tips and clues and should always be received in detail from authoritative sources. In going to the official in charge, who can provide authentic facts in line with company policy, a good publicity man follows the cardinal rule of the good reporter: he protects the iden- tity of the source of the original tip. And it is a good precau- tion to establish with the management officials concerned the certainty that the publicity man will not act as a company spy, will not retail gossip, and will limit his friendly conver- sations to innocuous and uncontroversial subjects. LET COMPANY PEOPLE SEE THE RESULTS From a dozen or a hundred sources within the company, the publicity staff gathers each month a wide variety of How to Cultivate News Sources 35 material which is processed, sent out, and published or broad- cast. This does not complete the publicity job. The results normally are recorded, kept on file, and shown to the man- agement official directly concerned. By a little extra effort the publicity staff's own public relations within the company can be nourished. The publicity clipping sent in to the president should be photostatted, and copies sent to divisions and departments. See to it that second-echelon executives receive copies of the monthly report of publicity obtained, not only their own, but that of the entire company. This extra attention serves two purposes. It keeps departments informed as to what proportion of company publicity they are receiving; and it lets the entire company know what the publicity staff has accomplished. Only a publicity staff that is on its toes, alert to its oppor- tunities, and diligent in cultivating every possible source within the company is really in a position to expose this monthly record to all eyes. It is the quickest and most effec- tive method of straightening out kinks in coverage, evening up the amount of attention devoted to various departments, and stimulating a productive rivalry among departments for publicity attention. chapter 3 Reaching the Public: the Press The word, printed or spoken, and supplemented by the picture, is the publicity man's basic all-purpose tool. Indeed it is man's primary vehicle for communicating and receiving ideas. Our wonderfully complex fabric of communications consists of the extension of mechanical means of reaching the eye and the ear. The principal organized vehicles of communication are called media (the plural of medium), and in modern American life they include letters, telephone conversations, telegrams, tape recordings, phonograph rec- ords, daily and weekly newspapers, newsletters, magazines of many sorts, books, pamphlets, television, radio, motion pictures, filmstrips, visual displays, conferences, and group meetings. In this chapter we can give only a bow to the letter and the telephone conversation, those extremely important pub- licity vehicles, and shall leave out all but the above mention of several minor media. The letter, whether addressed to one or a thousand per- sons, is the oldest kind of written communication and still the most widely used. Good publicity workers take care that the letters they write reflect truly the good will and intentions of their company or client. It is folly to slave for hours in preparation of a news release or an article and then hastily 36 Reaching the Public: the Press 37 dictate an accompanying letter that may confuse or mislead. In the attempt to be brief do not be cryptic. "When in doubt, spell it out" is a good old-fashioned motto, though its twin, "when in doubt, leave it out," is more in vogue. Special mention of the telephone conversation is war- ranted by the fact that unless backed up by careful note taking it is the most unreliable medium of communication, though one of the most useful. This is not the fault of the telephone, but of poor enunciation at one end of the line or dullness of attention at the other. Many words sound alike; many small but vital ones can fade away if not clearly pro- nounced. It is difficult to be sure whether someone has said "we would" or "we wouldn't," over the phone. Do not hesi- tate to ask that names and unfamiliar words be spelled out. To overcome the possibility of misunderstanding, therefore, it is often wise to write up the notes from a publicity tele- phone conversation immediately and when feasible send a copy to the other party. Speedy work does often prevent this; but, except when one is handling split-second news, it is an excellent guard against inaccuracy. For ordinary conversa- tions, no; for vital occasions when accurate reporting is needed, yes. DAILY NEWSPAPERS, BY DEPARTMENTS The 1,800 daily newspapers published in the United States include some that are highly specialized, such as legal, labor, and commodities. Others, printed in foreign languages, reach selected groups, to be sure, but responsive ones, whose interest is much the same as readers who get their informa- tion and entertainment in English. Too often the foreign- language press is ignored as a publicity outlet. 38 Publicity for Prestige and Profit This tabulation shows at a glance the principal daily news- paper targets for publicity: Approximate number of dailies Circulation under 10,000 l.°°0 Circulation 10,000 to 100,000 500 Circulation more than 100,000 120 Foreign language *) Specialized Total dailies in United States 1.800 The bulk of publicity is not sent directly to papers under 10 000 circulation, but reaches them through the wire serv- ices to one or more of which all dailies subscribe. These services include Associated Press, United Press, International News Service, and Dow-Jones. The feature and photographic agencies supplement this coverage. The in-between group, 10,000 to 100,000 circulation, re- ceives occasional direct publicity service, but concentration is put on the 120 papers that top the 100,000 mark and are located in fewer than 60 cities. Obviously the local newspapers in the city where the company is located, or in which it has branch plants, are given special, personal attention, no matter what their size. The same observation applies to weeklies and all other media. A typical American newspaper has the following points of contact for the industrial publicity man: Citti Editor: Local news, in a radius of 50 miles. State Editor: Covering the state or states within the circulation territory. Reaching the Public: the Press 39 News or Telegraph Editor: Ordinarily covered through wire services. Managing Editor: Significant material not of strictly local or feature interest. Financial-Business Editor: Corporate news, such as quarterly and annual reports, major product developments, forecasts, top- management appointments, mergers, new plants, acquisitions. Feature Editor: Mailed material, including photographs, in ad- vance of release date. Photo Editor: On large metropolitan papers, photos of immediate interest; feature and other departmental photos go to de- partmental editors. Sunday Editor: Picture stories of local or regional interest, gen- eral features on an industry which has local units (shipbuild- ing, lumber, steel, crops, etc.), national trade associations (to home-town papers of the officers), and civic, social, or re- ligious features capable of being slanted locally or regionally Aviation, Auto, Farm, Hobby, Realty, Science, Sports, Travel and other Departmental Editors: According to their special interests. Woman's Page, Fashion, Food, Household, Child-care Editors: Product publicity stories, personality features about women, and other items of feminine interest. Society Editor: News of births, weddings, etc., in families of top executives, with photos when appropriate. Columnists: Personality, entertainment, military, political, or other news and tips, according to their interest. Washington Correspondents: News with a Washington or national implication, affecting the communities served by the corre- spondent. State-capital Correspondents: News concerning state government and legislation, affecting the correspondent's home city Editorial Writer: Copies of news releases and feature articles sent to other departments, and suitable for editorial comment- letters to the editor. Publisher-Business Manager: These men handle the business end 40 Publicity for Prestige and Profit of the newspaper primarily, and the occasions are rare in- deed when news or feature material should be channeled through them. The publisher may be invited to discuss high policy with the head of the industrial company when war- ranted; the business manager has been known to send news releases to editors with the notation "B.O.," by which he means Business Office; but editors have another connotation for those initials on copy intended for the news columns. When they use it under pressure, they hold their noses, and then lie in wait for the next release from the same company. GETTING ALONG WITH EDITORS Here are three simple rules for maintaining good relations with the press: 1. Make your approach through the editorial department, not the business office; do not bring pressure from above to get something in the paper. 2. Show your face occasionally in the newspaper offices of headquarters and branch-plant cities, and get to know individuals on the staffs. You will find them friendly and intelligent. 3. When you make a personal approach, take along a good, usable story. Do not try to get a dud printed on the strength of friendship. NEWSPAPER CHAINS Like chain stores, newspapers under a single ownership are sometimes operated in various cities. Scripps-Howard, the oldest, publishes in eighteen cities; Hearst, in a dozen. Other chains include Booth, in Michigan; Perry, in the Southeast; Gannett, in the Atlantic states; etc. Some news and features are exchanged within a chain, Reaching the Public: the Press 41 but the publicity man deals with an individual paper as a rule. Exception: policy, political, and editorial (i.e., opinion) matters of more than local interest. The Scripps-Howard Newspaper Alliance, for example, is headquartered in Washington. Editorials, features, and Washington correspondence are wired daily to chain mem- bers, supplemented by cartoons, columns, etc., sent by mail. Science, aviation, and other specialized columns are written by outstanding authorities on the Scripps-Howard staff. These men, in constant touch with leaders in their fields, are important to publicity men who have information that will interest them. Both Scripps-Howard and Hearst enterprises also extend to news wire, feature, and photographic services, sold to newspapers outside their chains. NEWS WIRE SERVICES News of the world is fed into daily newspaper offices over telegraph and telephone wires leased by three great rival news agencies— Associated Press, United Press ( Scripps-How- ard), and International News Service (Hearst). All three maintain headquarters in New York and bureaus in Wash- ington, state capitals, and other large cities, and correspon- dents in newspaper offices in smaller centers. A bureau may be the news center for a region, as Boston for New England, or for a state, as Indianapolis for Indiana, or for part of a state, as Cleveland for northern Ohio. The local paper feeds back its own community's important news to the wire service. It may be relayed throughout a state, a region, or the nation. Included in this back-and-forth news flow is considerable material originated by publicity 42 Publicity for Prestige and Profit people and given by them to local newspapers, bureaus, or headquarters of the wire services. At the moment the publicity man gives information to the press, he surrenders control of it. Now it is news, and the editors, not he, decide how important it is, what to emphasize, what to print, what to send over the wires, what to leave out. Before it is published, at least half a dozen busy but alert editors will pass judgment on it. It must compete with acci- dental, incidental, and planned news from other sources. Since the copy is bound to be rewritten, the facts must be clearly stated, to assure accuracy. In the torrent of the day's news, the publicity story will have most chance of survival if it is professionally presented (see Chapter 7). The normal flow of news is from East to West. Other things being equal, a story is more likely to be carried throughout the country by the wire services if it originates on the Atlantic Coast than in the interior or on the Pacific Coast. For this reason many publicity people supply duplicate copies of their news material to wire-service headquarters in New York even when the news originates at some distant point. Suppose a company is announcing plans for an important new plant at Atchison, Kans. Copies of the story would be delivered simultaneously to the local newspaper, the wire- service bureaus in Kansas City, Mo., and the wire-service headquarters in New York. By this means, when the Kan- sas City bureau listed this story, the editor in New York, with a copy before him, could judge better whether to "call it in" on the national trunk-line wires than if he had to depend on the schedule from the bureau. That's the reason- ing behind this practice. Some equally competent publicity people disagree heartily Reaching the Public: the Press 43 with this procedure. They have worked closely with local newsmen and wire-service bureau chiefs, perhaps for years. Here comes a really good story, for which their loyal and cooperative friends should be credited. Why, these dissenters ask, risk loss of good will and possible embarrassment? Better to play along with the local and regional men who have so often been asked for attention. Two simple precautions can produce optimum results in this oft-recurring situation: 1. Tell the bureau chief in confidence in advance that the story is coming, and ask his consent before sending a dupli- cate to his headquarters. (In most cases he won't object.) 2. Attach a note to the duplicate sent to wire-service head- quarters: "Copy also filed with your Kansas City bureau." American wire services are famous for their competitive spirit. They work in split-second time. Therefore the utmost fairness is demanded of the publicity man in delivering news material to them. Whether dealing with headquarters or bureaus, see to it that the news is telephoned to all at the same time, or delivered by hand at the same time. Favoritism or slipshod timing in this regard can be fatal to future accept- ance of material. Watch the time factor. A story released in New York at 6 p.m., too late for afternoon dailies, arrives in San Francisco at 3 p.m., in plenty of time. The Dow-Jones financial wire closes at 4:30 p.m., UP at 5 p.m., and AP at 6 p.m., New York time. If your story is released in the morning or early afternoon, it will avoid being crowded out at the last minute. Company policies and practices may determine the precise timing of financial news. The publicity man, however, should 44 Publicity for Prestige and Profit apprise company heads of the news-time element. When mil- lions are at stake, and publicity is an important factor, com- panies have been known to change the time of meeting for the board of directors or other groups, to obtain maximum pub- licity results. The Dow-Jones wire, established originally as a financial ticker service, has risen in importance as a business-news out- let. Reuter's, British-owned, serves many foreign newspapers, but includes some American newspapers and radio stations. Science Service, headquartered in Washington, provides a daily digest of science happenings to its clients by wire, though it is mainly a feature service. FEATURE AND PHOTO SERVICES Not all newspaper material is so urgent it must travel by wire. The three major wire services-known in the trade by their initials, AP, UP, and INS-supplement this coverage with daily packages of mailed material, mimeographed or printed and accompanied by photographs and other illus- trations in matrix form. Nearly four hundred other feature services compete with them, supplying the widest variety of information and entertainment, from fashions to philosophy and from comic strips to conundrums. The output of the daily columnists is handled by feature services, whether sent by wire or sent by mail. The feature output of the AP is handled by AP Newsfea- tures; of UP, by NEA Service; of INS, by King Features and Central Press Association. Large city newspapers sometimes sell feature materials to others; e.g., Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate, Des Moines Register-Tribune Syndi- cate, New York Post Syndicate. Some other leading feature Reaching the Public: the Press 45 services are Adams, Bell, McClure, McNaught, North Ameri- can Newspaper Alliance, and Science Service. Feature services want exclusive material as distinct from spot news; often they do not accept features sent to anyone else. But since they serve so many papers, it is worth while to give them exclusive rights. They are not interested in this morning's happening, but in the marvelous, the strange, the odd, the fascinating information that lies behind the news. Publication may wait a day, a week, a month, six months. Thus the material must have more than momentary appeal. It is more likely to be used in its original form than is a news wire story. For this reason the best professional writing must go into every story submitted. AP, UP, INS, and a few other services send photographs by wire to member papers, when the pictures are of immedi- ate news value. However, most publicity photos go out by mail, and most feature services handle them, either as glossy prints or as matrices made from engravings of the pictures. The publicity man's share in this task is done, in any case, once his picture has been accepted by the feature service. It is better to submit a negative with an 8- by 10-inch glossy print, in dealing with a feature service, rather than to supply prints in quantity. All editors who handle photographs are eager for good ones, and their complaints about the quality of those they receive from industry are insistent. In Chapter 9 some ways are outlined of providing editors with the kind of pictures they will use. Among the principal photo services are United Press Spe- cial Services (formerly Acme Newspictures), AP Photo Service, Black Star, International News Photos, and Wide World, a feature subsidiary of the AP. 46 Publicity for Prestige and Profit WEEKLY NEWSPAPERS Many scalps of publicity men hang from the belts of weekly-newspaper editors, who are justified in their inde- pendence, resistance to pressure, and stalwart guardianship of their columns from what they consider free advertising. Though no field of public influence has greater potential, none has been more misused, misunderstood, and misinter- preted. Individually, weekly newspapers are small enter- prises. Taken together, they circulate to fifteen million homes, where they are more carefully and thoroughly read than any other examples of present-day journalism. Their readership is shared by the entire family circle to a greater degree than any other type of publication, so that they make an impact on probably in excess of fifty million individuals of all ages able to read. The stereotyped image of an unkempt and rather lazy old grandpa as the editor shuffling around his type cases and peering over the top of his glasses at the stranger from the next county belongs to the age of vaudeville. More typically, the weekly-newspaper editor of today is the journalism- college graduate, a leader in civic and community projects, alert to social, economic, and political trends, who runs a successful business enterprise, sees to it that most of his subscribers get their names in the paper at least once a year, and looks with some skepticism on the press releases that flood his desk. To appeal to this intelligent editor, the publicity man must produce stories of interest to the readers of the weekly news- paper. The editor has no difficulty whatever in finding some- thing to fill up the paper. The weekly actually has more Reaching the Public: the Press 47 individuality, more impress from the personality of its editor, than the daily. Therefore any publicity directed to the weekly should be tailored to its needs. If the job to be done entails reaching several hundred weeklies, then a subject of regional or state-wide appeal may be effective. Standard Oil of Ohio has had great success with a weekly cartoon sketch of some travel feature in the state. The local-weekly editor, knowing that his community or county will get its turn in the series, is happy to run this instructive and well-produced feature. A national food com- pany did well with a series of fish recipes in New England weeklies, where fishing is an important local industry. A tool manufacturer had no difficulty in placing a series of matrixed features on "How to Be Handy around the House/' An elec- tric-appliance manufacturer reaped a rich harvest of clip- pings from weekly newspapers by sponsoring activities of Four-H clubs in agricultural communities. In several states, New York and Missouri among them, publishers' associations have adopted stringent rules for eliminating "publicity" stories that are only masked adver- tising. Yet the officials of these associations, and their mem- bers, are among the most cooperative when a legitimate story, of genuine interest to readers, is submitted. Gaining acquaintance with the publishers' associations is an excellent way to learn what the weekly editors want and will use. The time and trouble involved can save much stationery and postage wasted on releases that nobody will print. Many weeklies use ready-made feature material of farm, small-town, or home interest, produced by Western News- paper Union or American Press Association. These organiza- tions, both of long standing, have won the confidence of 48 Publicity for Prestige and Profit weekly editors. They will distribute for the publicity man picture features in matrix form, properly labeled as pub- licity, with the source given. The material must meet the editorial standards of the organizations that handle it. The publicity man pays for this service a little less than it would have cost him to produce and distribute the feature. These distributing organizations also provide reliable lists of weekly newspapers that are constantly being revised and brought down to date. chapter 4 Reaching the Public: Magazines Only for convenience do we classify magazines. Each has its own character; few fall precisely into a category with others. In practical work make up your own rule-of -thumb classifications according to company requisites. Unlike a newspaper story, which aims to relate changes and significant background, a magazine article should be wrapped around one central idea. SUNDAY SUPPLEMENT Straddling the newspaper and magazine fields is the Sun- day supplement, a time-honored American institution, one of the few in our journalism that have shown marked improve- ment in the present age. The Denver Post, The New York Times, and the Philadelphia Inquirer furnish notable exam- ples of Sunday magazine sections produced in large measure by the paper's own staffs, but providing a market for the free-lance writer whose source of material may well be some industry's publicity department. The syndicated Sunday supplement, such as This Week (New York Herald Tribune), American Weekly (Hearst), and Parade, is sold to Sunday newspapers, some of which add all three to the bulk of leisurely Sunday reading. All are excellent targets for stories and especially pictures from busi- ness sources. 49 50 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Editorial requirements of these and other syndicated Sun- day supplements vary widely. American Weekly's idea of proper treatment of a science feature, for example, is so far removed from that of the editors of This Week that a sub- scriber who reads both in the same newspaper package on a Sunday morning might conceivably be puzzled. This factor should be borne in mind, with the realization that editorial policy and treatment here involve much more interpretation than in the day's run of news. It is not always practicable to become acquainted with every newspaper to which material is sent, but this can be done with the Sunday supplement, whether home-grown or syndicated. News releases should be sent to Sunday-supple- ment editors only as a matter of information. The expecta- tion is not that they will be used, but that they will suggest a topic for a feature story. Picture stories, a group of photo- graphs on a single topic, accompanied by a brief text, are often welcomed. These must be exclusive. NATIONAL NEWSWEEKLIES Time and Newsweek, rival weeklies in magazine form, digest this week's news for next week's reading. They are reviews, so well edited and presented as to give a sense of immediacy to happenings up to a fortnight old. One reason they perform this skillful maneuver so well is that into their offices flow publicity stories from a thousand sources, dated for future release. This enables the weeklies to prepare their many departments (Time has twenty-two) at comparative leisure, and still publish stories on the same day they appear in the newspapers. So important is a "break" in Time or Newsweek that many Reaching the Public: Magazines 51 publicity men time the newspaper release to coincide with publication day of the newsweeklies. Some send copies of a story to Time and Newsweek several days before copies go to wire services and newspapers. Just as on dailies, news material is directed to the depart- ment likely to be interested. If accompanying pictures are dramatic and arresting, they usually are sent with the story. If their quality is ordinary, postage had better be saved, as the pictures won't be used. A result of covering Time and Newsweek with all releases of national interest is that the newsweekly may develop its own topical story, using the release as a starting point. Re- searchers are sent out to collect more data, new lines of inquiry are started, and what began as a release from one company may appear as an over- all survey of an industrial or other situation. The editors deal fairly with publicity people, but exhibit no sense of obligation to mention a com- pany or a product just because it was responsible for their attention in the first place. Thus an article on a heating unit, suggested by a release from one company, came out describ- ing the business of a rival in detail, while the first company received only a footnote. It is well for the publicity man, therefore, to be realistic in his expectations after he has provided information to one of the newsweeklies. Their editorial reasoning is sound; they recognize an obligation to their readers, not to their sources of information. Next time the patient publicity man may be the beneficiary. In addition to supplying current releases to the newsweek- lies, the publicity man may profit by tipping them off to coming events, pointing out the significance of the rise of a 52 Publicity for Prestige and Profit company official, or otherwise assisting busy staffmen to get sources of information before anybody else. In this manner many a cover picture or leading feature has been placed. This practice boils down to the publicity man's acting as a willing and intelligent helper to the editors: one of his most fruitful functions. Business Week focuses on business and industrial affairs and reaches an immediately responsive readership. Its Wash- ington coverage is recognized as the best in the business field. Current news is boiled down. Feature articles are staff- written, frequently at the suggestion of an alert publicity man. The New Products section of Business Week welcomes pictures and product stories from companies of every size. A list of the section's do's and don't's, equally applicable in sending material to other magazines, is so valuable we re- print it with permission: Do send the release on your new product directly to Business Week's New Products Editor. Describe your product fully, using nontechnical language wher- ever possible. Explain all your product's possible applications. State the price and earliest delivery date. Send, if at all possible, a good glossy photograph showing the product in actual use. Give your complete address and telephone number. And don't send announcements of products that have been on the market for some time or have been features elsewhere. Attempt "pressure" methods by promises of advertising space in Business Week. Forget that each product is carefully weighed for its breadth of interest or application. Send lifeless retouched photographs or artists' sketches. Reaching the Public: Magazines 53 Get discouraged if your new product fails to get mentioned in Business Week. Try again the next time you have one. BUSINESS, INDUSTRIAL, TECHNICAL The old-fashioned term "trade magazine" embraces three distinct classes of periodicals, the business, industrial, and technical magazines. Here is an arbitrary but useful break- down, with typical examples: 1. Business. a. All business, all interests: American Business, Forbes, Nations Business, Harvard Business Review. b. All business, one principal interest: Purchasing, Retail- ing, Financial World. 2. Industrial. a. All industry, all interests: Duns Review, Factory Management and Maintenance. b. All industry, one principal interest: American Machin- ist, Production Methods. c. One industry (or group), all interests: Oil, Paint and Drug Reporter, American Lumberman, Textile World. d. One industry, one principal interest: American Drug- gist (retail), Sheet Metal Worker (fabrication). 3. Technical. a. Containing mostly reprints of papers delivered before technical or professional societies: Civil Engineering, Na- tional Education Association Journal. b. Stressing original articles: Progressive Architecture, Scientific Monthly. HOUSEHOLD MAGAZINES The household or shelter magazines are of basic interest to companies making consumer goods. Some, like Better 54 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Homes and Gardens or American Home, concentrate on fac- tual material; others, like Good Housekeeping or Ladies' Home Journal, are really general magazines slanted to femi- nine interest, embracing every aspect of home life, and also extending into realms ordinarily of little interest to the pub- licity worker, such as fiction or political and cultural subjects. Many of them conduct service departments, sending com- pany sales literature to inquirers on request. Food, beauty, health, child-care, and equipment editors of these magazines work hand and glove with publicity people, offering publication of new-product news and pic- tures, which may extend from a squib in the "back of the book" to a leading feature article of a dozen pages. Relationships with these editors— and their counterparts on large daily newspapers and feature services— are some- what different from anything else in publicity. For one thing, the editor rapidly becomes an expert in her field. She visits factories, hobnobs with divisional and company heads, asso- ciates with advertising directors more than most editors, and becomes thoroughly acquainted with design, fabrication, and research problems. Not only does she learn from business leaders, she teaches them, too. An Ohio equipment manufacturer held annual "kitchen clinics" to which household editors of a score of magazines were invited, to ask them questions about the proper height for the kitchen sink, the optimum arrangement of major items such as range, refrigerator, and service counters, and even the building of partitions in cupboard drawers. The manufacturer of a product intended for the home, therefore, depends on the household-magazine editor for far Reaching the Public: Magazines 55 more than publicizing his goods. By her objective appraisal of his merchandise she makes him aware that he has com- petition to meet, and it is only rarely, after long relationship, that she depends on his claims alone. She tests his wallpaper or fabric or electric toaster in the magazine's own laboratory, in many cases, and what she prints is based on its findings. Probably only the science- and industrial-magazine editors are anywhere nearly as well acquainted with the inner work- ing of industry, and even their scope is usually more limited than hers. Publicity departments of companies making household merchandise now offer wide opportunity to women in both creative and executive capacities, a logical policy that was slow in developing but is becoming nearly universal. The major reason for this is the influence of the shelter magazines, which were the first to prove that women can approach industrial manufacturing and distribution problems objec- tively. This does not mean that the distaff side has completely taken over the job of dealing with these editors, but each year witnesses an increase in the warmth of the welcome afforded by industry. FARM MAGAZINES The farm-magazine field can be a booby trap for the pub- licity man who lumps these publications together. A single magazine, such as Wallace's Farmer, may have half a dozen editions, going into different territories and changing edi- torial content to some extent for each. Country Gentleman and Farm Journal are general magazines aimed at the rural audience in the same way that Woman's Home Companion is a general magazine with a feminine slant. 56 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Most farm magazines have women's departments, which call for material with both woman and farm appeal; some, like Electricity on the Farm, express their special interest in their titles. There are magazines for the gentleman-farmer, for the poultryman, the horticulturist, the dairy farmer, and the orchardist. Others cut across all farm interests but focus on a single territory, as Rural New Yorker or Southern Agri- culturist. With decreasing farm population and increasing farm pro- duction, the per capita spending power of the farmer has multiplied, a fact that publicity people largely have failed to capitalize on. Farm editors say they are treated as step- children by organizations that blanket them with information not slanted to their needs, not written for their audiences, not beamed on their markets. Here is perhaps a place in which reputations will be made by publicity people seeking new worlds to conquer. The easy way, too frequently followed, is to send to the farm publications mimeographed copies of general stories. The more productive way is to explore the special needs of the periodical to be covered, correspond with the editor, and come up with text and illustrations he will gladly use. This applies not only to product publicity, but also to material reflecting a genuine interest in the farm audience. Almost wistfully, the farm leaders of the country long have asked from business an exploration of common interests. Both groups are conservative in attitude; each lacks under- standing of the objectives and attitudes of the other. With the equipment at hand to tell its story, economic, sociolog- ical, and technical, to the farmer, business has proved a lag- gard, largely permitting government bureaus to take over Reaching the Public: Magazines 57 the job of imparting a version of what's going on in the country as a whole. The individual company may feel a limited responsibility in this regard, but trade and industrial associations, most of which have competent publicity de- partments or counsel, could undertake the task, if they had enough initiative. RELIGIOUS MAGAZINES Publications of organized religious groups in the United States have a combined circulation of approximately eighteen million. Offhand they would seem to offer little scope for business publicity, and certainly blatant promotion of a prod- uct or a company name would get short shrift from the edi- tors. Some sincere publicity people, however, have discovered that there is a possible convergence of interest— when the business organization has something worth while to say. The vice president of a large corporation, as a prominent layman, gained his first recognition through the unselfish labors of an understanding publicity man. A foreman in a Detroit factory, who made a practice of delivering brief homilies on ethical subjects during the noon hour in his department, was surprised to find himself the subject of an entertaining and helpful article in a denominational pub- lication. Depending on one's point of view, the audience to be reached may or may not be considered important. Only a few publicity people have taken the trouble to explore the possibilities. These few have found that community and welfare projects, social programs involving health, moral, and ethical principles, met ready acceptance as topics in the religious press. 58 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Many practical publicity directors, while recognizing in a general way that every vehicle of communication should have some legitimate uses, feel that religion is a dangerous ground to venture on. And so it is, if one is absorbed by the mechanics of production and distribution. Nothing could be more reprehensible than a sly approach to the religious press, and the inhibitions of those who hesitate are understandable. We merely cite the record that those who believe just rec- ognition of ethical accomplishments is worth working for find here a willingness to afford it when deserved. STUDENT MAGAZINES Three national publications aim at the elementary, junior-, and senior-high-school student, providing him with maga- zines carefully edited for his age group and attempting to cover the world of his interests. These are Scholastic, Young America, and Current Events. All have large circulations, receive the approval of educational authorities, and find in industry much of interest for their young readers. By cover- ing the editors of the student press with selected releases and occasionally offering material for a special illustrated feature, information on research, product, or company ac- complishment reaches into the typical home through a new avenue. As a rule, material will be rewritten by staffs competent to choose facts and vocabulary that are appropriate. A single picture or picture story ( photographs and detailed captions ) often is acceptable, but woe to the publicity man who slips up on a tiny mechanical detail. He will think all the small fry in America have pounced on him. Reaching the Public: Magazines 59 MEN'S MAGAZINES The masculine-appeal publications are interested in home or workshop gadgets, attire (Esquire), scientific marvels, and inventions. They include True, Argosy, and three highly competitive rivals, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science Monthly, and Mechanix Illustrated. Business articles, strictly slanted to their special audiences, are sometimes used by Rotarian, Kiwanian, Elks, and American Legion, all member- ship magazines; and American Legion also has a new prod- ucts department. EMPLOYEE AND CUSTOMER MAGAZINES The employee magazine, like that aimed at the customer, is a tailor-made product often embraced in publicity work. Problems of editing and distribution are discussed in Chap- ter 13. Here it is worth noting, however, that the publica- tions of other companies often present an opportunity to publicize one's own organization, as many of them are open to outside material. A historical project or one embracing an entire industry can receive widespread usage in this type of publication. Here is the place for quotes from your own management, giving the philosophy and political or social observations made by members of your top management. The fact that this material may have been used elsewhere is not a deterrent as a rule. GENERAL MAGAZINES To "make" The Saturday Evening Post, The Readers Di- gest, Colliers, or one of the other big national magazines is the dream of many publicity people. Somebody is accom- 60 Publicity for Prestige and Profit plishing this worth-while service every week of the year, but not by pulling off a smart trick, lavishly entertaining the editors, or exerting influence on the business office. The formula is extremely simple, which does not mean it is easy: Have a clean-cut, well-organized presentation of a significant, entertaining, and novel subject, complete in every detail, with no strings hanging loose from the package; bring it to the attention of some editor, from Ben Hibbs or De Witt Wallace to the newest shuffler of the "slush pile," and it will attract the attention it deserves. All elements and auguries being favorable, the combination of time, space, and edi- torial tastes fusing perfectly, some morning you will open what henceforth will be your favorite magazine and see your story in print. The plague of editors is the publicity man who thinks he can do it some other way. Possibly the public relations coun- selor, who is one step removed from the industry and may have a wider scope of interests than a company employee, is better equipped to make a first-rate presentation than the person on a company staff; but this is a controversial matter and even if it is true does not invalidate the rule: Present what the editor wants. To search out the reason why publicity people can go to the biggest of the general magazines with assurance, one has to understand the make-up of the editorial mind. Editors are perhaps the least arrogant of any professional class. Riding the tumult of popular favor, they seldom are misled into thinking they direct it. Humility (not to be confused with timidity or self-deprecation) is the characteristic of the suc- cessful editor. Just now we are considering the great men of journalism, those whose judgment affects millions and tens Reaching the Public: Magazines 61 of millions. The man (or woman) of caliber to be trusted with this responsibility will not be glib, smug, pompous, or ponderous. He is able to listen well, and to accept the opinions of subordinates without feeling the embarrassment of retreat from an assumed position of superiority. A major article in a big national magazine bears the im- print, therefore, of several and perhaps many judgments. Rarely is it selected from the day's mail, but the contents of the mailbag, dumped out and called the slush pile, are sorted with the utmost care, in the hope that one idea might lurk in a million words, all of which will be read by someone on the staff. From the idea hidden in a casual manuscript- including stuff from publicity people— a team of staff editors goes to work. The original source of the idea is consulted. If this source bears a familiar writing name, that will ease the editors' minds, but little else, for the processing will go on just the same. The reason it will ease the editors' minds is that they will have some assurance that when the idea plucked from the manuscript is sent back to the source and he is asked fifty questions about it and requested to gather and send in a great deal more information than first submitted, he won't be scared, hurt, or indignant, but will go to work on the topic with professional compe- tence. From then on it is a matter of consultation, writing, edit- ing, rewriting, getting more facts, re-editing, and rewriting yet again, until the editorial team is ready to say the article should be published and the top editor accedes to this group judgment. With this background, the industrial publicity man is in position to submit his material in such shape that it causes 62 Publicity for Prestige and Profit the least possible wear and tear on the editors and on himself. Two methods of approach are recommended: 1. Send a brief letter outlining the contents of an article as you visualize it, with a request that the editor consider assigning a writer to work it up. When this is done, it is absolutely essential to have your complete "package" ready in advance— every fact, every detail, every illustration ap- proved and ready to submit the moment it is called for. If outstanding pictures are a major selling point, select the one best, and send it with your letter, listing the others. 2. Instead of approaching the magazine, discuss the topic with a writer whose work regularly appears there. Give him everything; don't hold back. If he thinks the article will have a chance, he will get in touch with the editors, thus provid- ing them with the ease of mind we mentioned. Naturally he will tell them openly where he got the information, and your company's connection with the article will be clear all round. There is a notion held by many amateurs that editors back away from anything having to do with industry or commerce. That's not so. The editor, in fact, doesn't give a hoot one way or the other whether your company is going to gain by the publicity. He is thinking of his responsibility to his readers, and your part is a minor incident in his attention. He will play fair; that is, he won't use pictures without due credit, or exclusive, important material without naming the source, but he will not submit the article for your company presi- dent's O.K., though he might request rechecking of facts to ensure accuracy. National general magazines expect exclusive use of the facts and pictures supplied them and sometimes require a guarantee that they will not be submitted for publication Reaching the Public: Magazines 63 elsewhere for six months after first use. This is entirely proper, in view of their immense circulations. The picture magazines are well worth covering with good single pictures and picture stories, whether exclusive or not. At times your picture may be discarded, but the magazine will send its own photographer to take similar pictures. This is done with a purpose— to obtain something just a little different from what competing magazines might use. A per- sonal call at the editorial offices of the picture books to show your wares to an editor is the recommended approach, when you have an exclusive subject to present. If you are located far from New York City, work with the staff editor nearest you, whose name and address you will find in the magazine. chapter 5 Reaching the Public: Books The private office of one important manufacturer contains an expensive small table, on which have been placed two jade book ends, supporting a single volume, Who's Who in America. A gold bookmark has been inserted with a studied air of casualness, at the page on which the biographical sketch of the head of the company appears. This self-made man is justly proud of his inclusion among the mighty, and the reverence with which he treats the only book in his office is an accolade for his publicity man, who was responsible for gaining him this deserved recognition. As a mark of prestige, the book bound in hard covers has no equal in the realm of business. Not to discount the impor- tance of its contents, one of its practical advantages, from the publicity point of view, is that people hesitate to throw a book away. It may be unflattering to authors, but books are made to be seen as well as to be read. COMPANY BOOKS In varying degrees, respect for the bound volume is prev- alent throughout management. Particularly since World War II, hundreds of companies have sponsored the produc- tion of bound books to be used for publicity purposes. The subject may be the history of the company, the biography 64 Reaching the Public: Books 65 of its founder, a description of the present-day business, or a collection of treatises written by various members of the management. Such books are sold through ordinary trade channels if they are of sufficient general interest. More often they are distributed at company expense, to libraries, schools, and colleges, editors, legislators, and others who influence opinion. Among the recipients are also the heads of customer companies. When these books are well written and professionally edited and published, they come out of the class of sales- promotion literature and stand on their own merits as worth reading and keeping. Many are invaluable reference works, many preserve data, records, and illustrations that otherwise would have disappeared. The fact that they are physically well and attractively made assures them a permanent place on the bookshelves of important people. There they serve as constant reminders of the status and ability of the companies that fathered them. Though the publicity man recognizes the literary and busi- ness functions of company books, his mundane eye is on their influence, which he seeks to spread as far as possible. Therefore he uses the company's book as a springboard for other kinds of publicity. It can be the subject of newspaper, magazine, radio, and television reviews, interviews, feature articles, and programs. If the book bears the signature of a prominent member of management, it is a wonderful door opener when an opportunity is sought for that man to make a public appearance before some business, technical, com- munity, or popular group. A year's publicity program has been built around a single book— a good one, with content worthy this exploitation, with presentation worthy content. 66 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Some company books, however, have proved disappoint- ing. They were turned over to the advertising department or agency to produce, and they look and read like advertise- ments; or they were actually written by management men, edited by their secretaries, sent to the local printer, and de- livered to the purchasing department, which put most of them in a storeroom where they lie moldering, against the day when the iceman cometh and they are cast away. It is not necessary to go to the printer, the promotion man, or the so-called vanity publisher to produce a company book. Reputable publishers, large and small, take over production and distribution and even recommend competent profes- sional business writers to prepare the manuscript. In some cases the company responsible for the book pays standard charges for these services; in others, when there is a reason- able prospect of trade sales, the company merely engages to purchase a few thousand copies for its own business use. Such copies may be given to other members of the trade, to company associates, employees, customers, and other busi- ness friends. This conservative method, using well-known and established publishing facilities, is recommended over the homespun or amateur approach to the company book. INDUSTRIAL BOOKS When the new textbook on electricity comes out, will the frontispiece show a Westinghouse turbogenerator or a Gen- eral Electric automatic control board? Will the author of a book on synthetics choose three pictures from American Viscose and only two from du Pont? Why was the president of your competing company asked to contribute his views to Reaching the Public: Books 67 a book called Back to Economic Sanity when your president could have done it twice as well? The mazes of the book-publishing world bewilder even an experienced publicity worker; but, like Theseus in the labyrinth of Crete, he may find his way out by a simple ruse: a thread trailing behind him, a thread of continuity of contact with and service to book editors. Only a few of the larger companies consistently seek to penetrate into books with their publicity, yet this field is open to all who have suitable material. Business books take a long time between planning and publication. (This one took three years.) In the interim, editors and authors alike search for suitable illustrations and occasionally, in the case of books made up of chapters by different authorities, for appropriate coauthors. By keeping book editors informed of material available, especially illus- trations, it is possible to give them access to unsuspected sources when need arises. Some companies produce inexpensive folders of typical illustrations from their files, for the ready reference of book editors. These do double duty in the magazines, which some- times need "stock shots" to illustrate an article. Other com- panies make a practice of covering book editors with glossy prints of photographs of probable interest, rather a costly procedure. Perhaps a more practical method is to establish contacts in publishing houses which bring out books in one's partic- ular field, and then keep those contacts alive by occasional reminders of one's existence. This can be done by phone, by letter, by infrequent submission of key pictures. Editorial plans are sometimes confidential; it is often not feasible to 68 Publicity for Prestige and Profit request advance lists of books in preparation, though in some cases this information is made available. In this realm of publicity there is no really good substitute for shoe leather, for opening doors and making personal acquaintances. REFERENCE BOOKS In encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs, and yearbooks the lasting results of many publicity efforts are to be found. The field is not large, but the penetration can be important, for a bound reference work, though dated for the current year, may continue in use for a decade. Trade associations which gather data for an entire industry are the source of much reference-book material. A company research scien- tist or other authority may be asked to write on his specialty. This is excellent recognition and can be obtained, when appropriate, by an alert publicity man, through the simple expedient of letting the reference-book editors know the man and his data are available. For this purpose it is well to pre- sent a biographical sketch of the company author, including a list of previous writings. chapter 6 Reaching the Public: Audiences To write a clear, interesting, and forceful company state- ment is hard enough. The authority who issues the statement, however, can get his publicity man to put the words to- gether, even to help out on the thinking involved, and on occasion to perform the entire chore, requiring only an O.K. But when a personal appearance is involved, before an audience, a microphone, or a television camera, an entirely new set of skills is called for. Here the publicity man can be of invaluable service in preparing his man for the task and in putting the words in his mouth. Both must come to the moment, though, when the ghost becomes invisible and the speaker is on his own. Physical, mental, and moral courage are needed. Many speakers lose pounds of weight in this ordeal. The mind can go blank; and this is literally true and no joke. The primitive and deep-lying fear of facing a crowd can grip a normally brave man and paralyze him. Beyond all this is the practical likelihood that the meaning of the words spoken will be mis- understood, misinterpreted, corrupted, and tortured to mean something else. The horror of being misquoted makes re- sponsible men quail at times. So let us face the fact that most company speakers are afraid of publicity they make themselves by appearing in public— even those who love it. 69 70 Publicity for Prestige and Profit This torture is imposed on the speaker, not the publicity man. Few more delicious moments are experienced by an ink-stained wretch whose golden words flow from the mouth of his creature than as he sits in an obscure place in meeting hall or studio and listens to the inflections he has taught, sees the gestures he has created, hears his sallies applauded, his wit rock the audience, his eloquence ring the rafters. If the speaker bumble a quotation, however, the specter who included it blushes with shame. If he skip a page or a paragraph, his whilom master in oratory cringes, and his heart pounds as he remembers this was the lead statement of the publicity release which even now the reporters at the press table, having scorned the banquet, are scanning with fishy eye; and if in headlong enthusiasm the speaker actually depart from the manuscript, and ignoring the studied peri- ods, the gradual build-up to a crescendo of thundering triumph, lamely attempt to substitute his own words and ideas for those of his ghost, it is the publicity man who loses pounds of weight, his countenance a sickly green, his hands gripping the arms of his chair in order to prevent himself from slipping under the table or slashing his wrists with a salad fork. (The last sentence was written, dear reader, to prove a point: that 130 words are not necessarily too many for one sentence, though seldom advisable, if your sense is clear.) Such things do happen. Any public appearance of a com- pany speaker involves risk. This is one of the most valuable of all publicity vehicles, but to be ridden only by the intrepid. Yet it would be folly to avoid it, for the spoken words are multiplied many times, if they are worthy, by appearing in print, as we shall see. Reaching the Public: Audiences 71 GETTING TALENT IN YOUR COMPANY Many of the smartest men in your company may hesitate to appear as speakers because they believe they cannot give a creditable performance. The rule here is, do not press, but persuade. Better to lose a speaker and the resultant pub- licity than to force or euchre an unwilling speaker into a situation where he does not feel adequate. An offer of assist- ance, however, may give the potential speaker just the little shove he needs. There may be other, younger men who could shine. It is the publicity man's job to find hidden talent and to exploit it for the company's benefit. It is a good practice to start a man's speaking career before a small group, close to home, where some of his seniors may observe and report on his performance. GETTING ON PROGRAMS The larger companies, with their speakers' bureaus and seemingly endless resources of speaking talent, are some- times accused of "hogging the limelight" on convention and similar programs. This is not because the organizations holding the meetings wish it so, but because they have difficulty finding good speaking talent among smaller com- panies. Then, too, the larger organizations are usually not so much afraid of telling "trade secrets." But a good speaker from a smaller company can usually be placed on an appropriate program, provided arrangements are made at least six months in advance. In many cases, a year is needed. The publicity man handling a smaller company may do 72 Publicity for Prestige and Profit well by taking a leaf from the book of the big fellows. They do not turn down requests for appearances at chapter or sectional meetings. If you are building a speaker's reputation, let him practice and perfect himself before small groups; an invitation for a more important appearance is quite likely to stem from such occasions. WRITING THE SPEECH Care should be exercised not to rob the talk of the speaker's own characteristics of language and thought habits. If he is given too much help, he may just memorize the publicity man's speech, and it will sound like it, too. A practical means of solving the speech-writing problem is to use a wire or tape recorder, while you chat with the speaker and draw him out. His ideas and language patterns will come more freely and with more freshness than if either he or you tried to put the ideas on paper at first. This method is recommended even for technical papers. If the speaker is of an orderly mind, his address will march along in precise fashion, although he is just talking it over. A dictating machine may be substituted, provided the speaker is used to it. COACHING THE SPEAKER The president of a Pennsylvania company was scheduled to talk on radio for the first time. The "informal chat" was taken off the wire recorder, processed into an interview script. Then the speaker was told to take it home, rehearse three times ( with his college-boy son acting as interviewer ) , and then put the script away until the day of the broadcast. The higher an official, the more readily he will listen to pro- Reaching the Public: Audiences 73 fessional advice on preparation of a speech. In this case, sug- gestions were followed literally, with good results. Coach the speaker to use his imagination constructively on the things he should do, rather than destructively on fears of what might happen. Do not hesitate to help the biggest official in your company on speech preparation. He will thank you. PHYSICAL ARRANGEMENTS Suppose it is your job to arrange for a man from your company to speak at a luncheon. Following is a check list of the principal steps involved: 1. Get confirmation in writing, with no exceptions, as to the firmness of the speaking date, specifying precise time, place, and length of your man's speech. 2. Get names and subjects of speakers who will precede and follow your man on the program. Procure in advance a copy of the seating arrangements at the speakers' table. 3. Provide the meeting chairman, well in advance, with material for the introduction of your speaker. Do not hesitate to write this in the form you would like it presented. Avoid tricky, jocose, and lengthy introductions; the emcee will add his own clever touches if he wishes, but do not take on such a dangerous responsibility. 4. Get an estimate of the size of the audience. If possible, visit the room yourself, check the acoustics, and make a rough sketch of the layout of speakers' table, etc. 5. In a large meeting, set one table aside for the press, as near as possible to the speakers' table. Have a small sign set up on a standard, marked "Press." Strangely, newsmen prefer their own company to that of others at such functions. 74 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Gently but firmly shoo guests away who try to crash the press table. As the man in charge of publicity, you will be welcome, however. 6. Have copies of a news release ( Chapter 7 ) and photo- graphs (Chapter 9) available to hand out, not before but during your man's talk. If a reporter must leave early, be reasonable; accompany him out of the room and give him the handout. 7. If a demonstration or visual aids such as filmslides, charts, flannelboard, or motion pictures are to be used, never trust the hotel or other meeting place to provide facilities without personal checkup. Know where electric outlets are. Find out whether fire department or union permits are needed. Do not be content with assurances from the organ- ization sponsoring the talk. This is your show, your job; excuses that a blunder was not your fault won't save the day, but forethought can do so. 8. Arrange for your own photographer. Invite press pho- tographers if the occasion warrants it. Do not let a micro- phone blot out your man's face from the camera. Inconspic- uously remove any array of liquor or wineglasses in front of him. (Yes, you can go right up and do it, before he starts speaking, if an intelligent waiter is not close by to do it for you.) You may even make bold to approach the table and tell your man to straighten his tie or adjust his pocket hand- kerchief, if necessary. Try (you can only try) not to let his picture be taken while he is managing a conspicuous forkful of food. 9. If the talk is to be broadcast, better to do this on tape before the function, cooperating with the radio-station staff. You don't want your man cut off in the middle of his speech. Reaching the Public: Audiences 75 All broadcasting arrangements must be made well in ad- vance. Make sure that someone familiar with the meeting place (preferably you) accompanies your company speaker, to introduce him, if unacquainted, with the contact man of the sponsoring organization. Then you may quietly proceed to shepherd the gentlemen of the fourth estate to the press table. Do not be precipitate, however. At the preprandial cocktail session, newsmen will temporarily overcome any predisposition not to mingle with other guests, and this is a natural and appropriate time for your speaker to meet them informally. GETTING THE NEWS KERNEL A technical address was given recently before an en- gineering society by a distinguished research man who was little known to the general public. Hidden among the graphs and formulas was a reference to the use of moving side- walks underground. This sensational idea had the world-of- tomorrow air which editors like. Yet to the engineers pres- ent it was only a minor note in an important address. The publicity man who handled the speech was alert to find the "news kernel" which in reporting a speech makes all the difference. He obtained millions of circulation which might easily have been lost. What is important to the learned often seems dull to the radio listener or the newspaper reader (who buys our goods); and the trivial item often shines forth as a gem of news. RELEASING THE NEWS Frequently a company speaker will appear on a program of an engineering society, manufacturers' association, etc. 76 Publicity for Prestige and Profit This calls for close cooperation between the company pub- licity department and the individual or organization handling publicity for the society. Clear, detailed understanding as to responsibilities should be established well in advance, preferably in writing. The company may be asked to handle newspapers only, business magazines only, or be given freedom to get all the publicity it can for its man and his speech. Help is usually welcomed, but duplicated effort is not. STAGING PRESS CONFERENCES The practice of holding a press conference just before or just after an important speech is growing. The purpose is to afford the press an opportunity to ask questions, to penetrate more deeply into a subject than does the set address. A press conference should not be called just to please the company speaker, but if he is a man of stature, and the oc- casion warrants it, the press will cooperate by attending. Newspaper men are not impressed, however, by free meals or cocktails, if there is no story forthcoming (see Chapter 7). WHEN ALL IS SAID AND . . . The end of the speech should not be the end of the pub- licity. A good talk should have a life of at least a year. From it should stem filler material, feature stories, future radio and television appearances, perhaps a magazine article. If you have discovered a company speaker of real talent, there is no reason to limit his audience to one occasion. The same man, the same speech, can be used a dozen, two Reaching the Public: Audiences 77 dozen times. It is only then that the real dividends in pres- tige or sales become visible. The publicity man is in more danger of tiring of the speech than is the public. To be sure, the same old pub- licity material cannot be used again and again with the same papers. Fresh material, new and sparkling ideas, should be "fed into" the speech for each occasion. It is the penetra- tion of effect, not the immediate audience or press reaction the first time, that is the real test of the quality of a company speaker's talk. WIDENING THE AUDIENCE The audience for a single speech can be increased many times over by employment of various mechanical means such as radio, television, filmstrips, motion pictures, and traveling exhibits. The fundamentals we outlined are adapt- able and applicable to all of them, and each lends itself to other publicity material as well. Some of these media of communication are discussed in later chapters in detail. Here a few words are needed to explain how radio, television, and trie speakers' bureau can be used. Radio To reach a radio audience, the publicity man deals with news or program directors in individual stations, in one or more of the four national networks— American Broadcast- ing Company, Columbia Broadcasting System, Mutual Broadcasting System, and National Broadcasting Company— or with outside agencies. The three major press associations supplv news to radio stations as well as to newspapers. If information supplied 78 Publicity for Prestige and Profit is considered usable for radio, it is rewritten for the radio audience by the press association, which has an expert staff for this purpose. For straight news of company activities, it is not advisable for the publicity man to rework the ma- terial for radio himself, and as a rule nothing is gained by sending duplicate copies to the press-association radio desks. Feature material, for such outlets as household pro- grams, often is used, however. This should be presented on the same basis as newspaper feature material, exclusively to one of the press associations. Like newspapers, the radio stations that receive such material are free to use or discard it. Advertising agencies which sponsor individual programs are valuable sources of contact for publicity people, as they frequently prepare an entire program without recourse to the creative facilities of the station or the network. Other radio agencies are in the business of working up and selling "package" programs, such as the quiz shows and forums. Here the program director, who works for the agency, makes the decision whether to accept a proffered speaker or panel members. Only rarely is it effective to approach a radio sponsor directly with publicity material. Such an exceptional case might arise when the sponsor is a large supplier of goods to one's company, and thus feels a common interest. For example, if a maker of containers sponsored a radio show, he might receive cordially from his largest customer a sug- gestion that he make some mention of the customer's product, research, or repute. The details would be handled, of course, through the advertising agency. For the great bulk of the millions of words of publicity Reaching the Public: Audiences 79 material going out on ether waves, however, the program director is most likely to make the decision. On national network programs, he is usually located in New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago. The thirty-five or more regional net- works also are receptive to ideas of interest often involving industrial publicity. Here, again, it is the network program director to whom material should be offered. Obviously it must be of distinct regional interest. Television To the publicity man who wants to get a company spokes- man on the air, television is merely an enlargement of radio. The same means of approach are used, but the opportunity is narrower. With rapid expansion of the number of tele- vision stations, however, increased local opportunities are developing. Television does provide a means of showing products as part of the background, "props" in a stage set- ting, though no direct credit is usually given. A carpet manu- facturer, for example, might supply a newly designed floor covering for this purpose, a maker of kitchen equipment might get his range or sink on the set, and so forth. Cos- turners, jewelers, and the like make constant use of this type of publicity and at times do get their names in the credit list. Speakers' Bureau Many companies and a few industrial associations schedule speaking activities through the entire year, reaching thou- sands of auditors through speeches that are repeated many times. Frequently this is done through a speakers' bureau, an activity headquarters which selects subjects, prepares the 80 Publicity for Prestige and Profit talks, coaches the speakers, provides visual-aid materials, arranges dates for appearances before organizations, and handles newspaper and other publicity. A clear-cut purpose for such a bureau is a first requisite. The publicity man who plans one as part of his work should beware of getting lost in the fog of a fuzzy objective. Put the purpose on paper, stating it in a few words. Check this statement with the top executive concerned, and show it to everyone connected with the proposal. This will prevent misconceptions. Typical worth-while purposes might include one or more of the following: Gain prestige in the industry. Build the reputation of a spokesman. "Make news" for newspaper and radio publicity. Improve area community relations. Familiarize special groups with company history and ac- complishments. Recruit new employees. Build a dealer organization. Present the product line. Explain company policies. Influence legislation. Counteract unfavorable situations. Uphold our present economic system. Next in importance is to assure yourself of a manpower reservoir of speakers. This is the trickiest boobytrap in set- ting up a speakers' bureau. Those who, when first asked, volunteer to take on this extra and demanding chore may prove not to be dependable. Some who are selected because of company rank may not be suitable for the purpose. And Reaching the Public: Audiences 81 there is a danger of overworking those who agree to take part. Though announcement of formation of a speakers' bureau may bring applause within the company, a far better pro- cedure is to put it into operation on an experimental scale at first; talk about it after it has functioned successfully for a while. Adequate research, preparation of the talks, tactful but firm coaching of speakers, and arrangement of dates are time- consuming. It is deceptively easy to get platforms for com- pany speakers. The behind-the-scenes work is what really counts. Methodical survey of the area and types of groups to be reached will prevent much wasted effort. One company, with a nine-county region to cover in plant-community work, set up the following schedule of procedure, which worked out well and has since been adapted to other parts of the country: Trace on a map the precise area to be covered. List types of organizations to be reached, such as schools, service clubs, chambers of commerce, women's clubs, church groups, lodges, civic associations, professional groups, labor unions, war veterans, farmer groups, and safety councils. From local, regional, or national sources of these organi- zations, obtain lists of their units functioning in the area, with names and addresses of officers and size of local mem- bership. Make up a master list of all organizations potential for coverage. The total will surprise you. After your manpower reservoir of speakers has been as- sured, send out a form letter to those organizations you wish to reach, throughout the area, asking whether a company 82 Publicity for Prestige and Profit speaker would be welcomed at a future meeting. In this letter suggest, but do not specify too precisely, the range of subjects available. Preferably by personal contact, arrange definite speaker, subject, and date. Prepare advance publicity story, with prints of picture of speaker, for distribution to local and area newspapers, by sponsoring organization. Prepare news release based on speech, for distribution by sponsoring organization on date of speech. Depending on the importance of the occasion, other publicity materials, such as text of speech, also may be prepared for distribution. Send copies of publicity clippings, with a covering letter of thanks, to the official of the sponsoring organization re- sponsible for making arrangements. This is a detail too often neglected. It represents the valuable follow-through which clinches the good will obtained by the speech. (An- other set of copies of all publicity should be given to the speaker. ) chapter 7 News Releases A news release is the physical form by which the planned news, or publicity, of industry is given to news outlets. Usually it consists of one or more mimeographed sheets of paper, and except in Federal-government bureaus the uni- versal rule is to use only one side of the paper. The govern- mental publicist knows better than to use both sides, but in the name of economy is forced into this time-wasting prac- tice. As a result, the prose on the back side of the government handout is ordinarily scratched out by busy copy editors. This is to the advantage of the business publicist, who is competing for the use of space or time. IDENTIFICATION It is essential to identify the source of the publicity being presented to editors. This may be done by printing the company name and address, including telephone number, at the top of the first sheet, or by typing this information at the upper left corner. The publicity agency usually prefers the typed identification, which may read like this: FROM: Community Relations, Inc. 10 East 43d Street, New York 17, N. Y. Telephone: MUrray Hill 7-469S FOR: Barrington Associates, Inc. 83 84 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Note that the name of the client company in this case is always given, but not its address and telephone number. This agency practice prevents confusion and gives the editor or radio director a single source at which to make further inquiry. It is a convenience all round. Many publicity men, both in companies and in agencies, also give their own names as part of the identification. This makes it easy for inquiries to be funneled straight to an in- dividual. In the larger companies this is sometimes frowned upon, however, because of the rate of turnover of personnel. From a company point of view, it is held, the lack of per- sonal-relationship setup is more than offset by the advantage of continuity. The New York public relations officer of the Canadian National Railways accomplishes both ends by having his name, Joe H. Fountain, appear at the end of the release, though the rest of the identification is in the usual upper left position. Four typewriter space lines under the last line of the identification, the time of the release should be written in capital letters flush to the left-hand margin, thus: FOR RELEASE TO AM'S OF MONDAY, SEPT. 2, 1963 This indicates that the news is for publication in morning newspapers (AM's) of the date given. Note that the day of the week should always be included, and so should the year: the first, for editors' convenience; the second for yours when referring to old files. If there is no time element, simply write "For Release at Will" or "For Immediate Release," but in such a case write the date the release was sent at the top right of the first page. News Releases 85 THE RELEASE HEADING A practice disliked by many copy editors is an attempt to write the headline of your news story. Though it persists, it is fortunately dwindling. Every editor faces problems of type size and style which the publicity man can scarcely know in advance. The chances are slim that your story will get printed as you wrote it, but they are nil that your head- line effort will be used. Still, some identification of subject matter is called for. The accepted practice is to write one line, as brief as possible, that catalogues the story and hints of its content, like this : GOOGLEPLEX NAMES R. A. JONES TREASURER That gives the name of the company, the name of the man, and the name of his position. This sort of identifying line is called a "slug." DATELINES At the beginning of the first paragraph of the text of the story, when intended for timely use, write the date: HARTFORD CITY, Ind., Sept. L- Note that the name of the place is typed in capitals, the state and month in lower case. Your story is intended for publication in morning papers of Sept. 2, but obviously was sent out the day or evening before. Look at a morning paper. You'll see the press as- sociation and other dispatches carrying the dateline of the previous day. 86 Publicity for Prestige and Profit If your story is released for afternoon newspapers, how- ever, it carries the date of publication, as presumably it was given out that same day. Check afternoon papers to observe this detail. Some publicity men scorn to use a dateline at all, recog- nizing that the editors may cross it out and use the story as a local one, but it is safe to leave it in. Feature stories, oddities, short paragraphs intended as "filler," anything that might conceivably have originated in the home office of the newspaper itself, carry no dateline. Actually the use of datelines in dailies is nonsensical and space-wasting, but journalists are tradition-wed, living in the myth that the dateline makes news look timely. It is not for the publicity man to reform them. Occasionally a story from outside the newspaper's place of publication, with no time element involved, still needs the convention of identification of the place of the story's origin. Simply start the text with it, giving no date, i.e., WILLIAMSBURG, Va. SUBHEADS AND SYMBOLS The subhead, inserted between paragraphs of news text, chiefly is used for aesthetic, not informational, reasons. The blackface type in which it appears serves to break up the monotony of grayish print. On a story occupying no more than a page and a half of mimeographing, subheads are not needed. Editors like short news stories better than long ones, so it is a good rule to check your judgment whenever your story wanders on longer than a page and a half. Many stories do justify greater length. The use of the subhead supplies you an opportunity to do a really good News Releases 87 editing job. Instead of arbitrarily inserting subheads every three or four paragraphs, as lazy copy handlers do, marshal your facts so that the arrangement of subheads is logical, each carrying out its true function, beyond the aesthetic one, and becoming what its name implies, a minor headline over a definite section of the story. You will find this small attention to mechanics will in- fluence you to compose tighter, shorter sentences and para- graphs. Once engaged in this useful excercise, you may see a way to tell all in the standard page and a half, to the bene- fit of your chances of being published. It is better not to end a page of typescript or mimeo- graphed copy at the end of a paragraph, particularly in the fast-moving news story. Break it up so that one or two lines of the paragraph carry over onto the next page. That indi- cates to the editor that there's more to come. Some publicity men slug or mark each page with the word "more" at the bottom, except for the final page, following an old newspaper custom. At the end of a news release write the following symbol: —XXX— The three x's stand for 30, the telegrapher's signal of for- mer days, signifying the end. Sometimes the arabic numerals 30 are used, but the three x's are more common. BEHIND THE RELEASE Mechanical matters discussed above are important only because they afford convenience. It is what's in the release that counts for most. A professional presentation helps the editor's attention to focus on content, but form without substance won't get your releases published. 88 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Let's look behind our definition of a release as a physical form. The word itself implies that the news given can be released, let go, published to the world, that up to now this information has been confidential but that at the time speci- fied the editor is released from a tacit vow of confidence, and is free to use the story. All modern news work is based upon confidence. The great of the world talk freely to reporters and editors and news- casters, realizing that their words are perfectly guarded and will not be given out— released— without permission. Confi- dence is the cornerstone of all modern journalism. Without it, a free press would be impossible in our day. True, unethical practices are not completely unknown, and violations of news-release dates have been known to occur. In practically all instances such violations are due to error. As a matter of good sense, a story important enough to carry a release date should not be sent out far in advance of that date. By expert timing, every story should be aimed to reach the editor at the optimum moment— when he can attend to it, when he is in need of it, and before the thou- sands of distractions in his day's work will cause him to lay it aside until too late for publication. This minimizes the likelihood of complete loss of the story and also of getting it used on the wrong day. TELL A GOOD STORY Some publicity people, wearied of seeing their copy re- written, embrace the idea that the way they express the news is not important, since the copy editor will change it anyway. This is a tempting but dangerous frame of mind. Every story is different: that's what makes it a story. What makes it us- News Releases 89 able is its presentation from a fresh viewpoint, a "slant" that has an element of surprise. Most publicity material as it comes to copy desks is woefully humdrum. Whether your story heads for the wastebasket or the composing room will depend mostly on the words you use in your first paragraph. Say something interesting right at the start. Often this is a difficulty impossible to surmount, but more often the editor, droning through publicity copy, comes upon what might make a good story in the middle or toward the end, instead of at the beginning. The writer of such a story has forced him either to have it rewritten or to throw it away, and the second of these alternatives is the easier. A speech or a scientific report or paper may be sent out as it was first prepared, or it may be in outline form, a mere skeleton. But with such text or outline there should go a brief, terse, brightly written news release. In the first sen- tence should lurk a "news hook," so engaging that the editor is interested— because he knows his readers will be, too. This need not be the most significant detail, or the one of most import to your company, but it should be the one that will interest most people. How can you find it? A simple rule is to seek some emo- tional content, or some facet of the story that will stimulate emotion. Wonder, anticipation, terror, comedy, anything that makes the reader feel, is of value here. Let what edi- tors call "think stuff" come in later paragraphs, but try to get emotional content into the start. This does not mean straining for effect, or forcing an emotion false to the facts of your story, but almost every human act has some emotion stirrer in it, if only you can discover and release it. A routine statement: 90 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Jonas Geoffreyson was elected executive vice president of the Spizzerink Manufacturing Company at a meeting of the board of directors here today. He has been with the company for over eighteen years. An emotion-arousing recast, purposely exaggerated: Jonas Geoffreyson punched the time clock at the Spizzerink Manufacturing Company plant at 8:29 this morning, for the 5,680th time. On the first occasion he was a new office boy in the delivery department. Today he punched in as executive vice president, following his election to that office by the board of directors at their annual meeting. It is not recommended that you try to fit your executive vice president into the mythical Mr. Geoffreyson's shoes, but that you find something about your man whom you want to publicize that will attract the editorial eye. VARIANTS OF THE RELEASE Because of competition for news space and radio time on heavy news days, a perfectly sound release occasionally will miss its target through no fault of its creator. This need not mean its finish. Often a story is good for a second run a little later on. One publicity man whose release got crowded out everywhere— it was three pages, too long for attention on a big news day— wrote a letter to four business writers on im- portant dailies, his principal targets. In the letter he incor- porated all the information in the release. Three of the editors used it in considerable space, though the first time round it had been lost in the shuffle. This is not an approach to be overdone, but no company story worth the time and effort of preparation should be permitted to die because of the publicity man's faint heart. News Releases 91 Some publicity offices print up their material in an imi- tation of newspaper style, headlines and all, sending out a newspaper-size page containing many stories and several pictures. This is a clipsheet, time-honored, a second-best way of releasing material, and suitable for the oddity and the feature rather than the story of immediate and com- pelling interest. In the fashion, food, garden, theatrical, and motion-picture fields it is useful, though not as a rule for heavy industry. Yet the National Association of Manufac- turers receives a great bulk of publicity released through a clipsheet. Widening out from the daily newspaper, the same ma- terial that is released to the press can be presented in slightly changed form to others, notably industrial and business mag- azines. This involves considerable writing time, particularly when many fields are open for the publicity. A compromise is necessary. In stories dealing with personnel, acquisitions and expansions, and other matters of routine company opera- tion, the same release may be used for all. By rewriting only the first paragraph, slanting the story a little nearer to the special field, a greater acceptance often can be gained. The "how to do it" story lends itself to this treatment. The publicity man for a manufacturer of stainless steel first sent a release on how to clean this material to household editors of daily newspapers, where it was widely used. He rewrote the first paragraph, for distribution to household editors of magazines. Industrial magazines and dairy and other food magazines used the story, applied to their fields by use of a new lead paragraph. The Associated Press carried a picture. Railway, soda-fountain, sheet-metal-working, aviation, and interior-decoration magazines found the storv of interest. 92 Publicity for Prestige and Profit If this publicity man had been content to send the same words to the editors of all these publications, most of them would have decided against it. By merely presenting new first paragraphs he pointed out its direct interest to each. THE PRESS CONFERENCE When an important announcement is to be made, involv- ing a live news topic, the press conference provides a quick and expeditious way of getting the facts to a maximum num- ber of outlets at once. Instead of taking the news to the edi- tors and newscasters, they come to a designated place to receive it. Presidential press conferences have become so thoroughly rooted in present-day journalism that they have been widely imitated by politicians, industrialists, and others. The press conference, in which the businessman meets newspaper and radio reporters face to face, has the great ad- vantage of establishing personal relationships. A scientific demonstration or a machine of any sort is far more interest- ing once one has touched it, seen it, watched it work. And a person is always more real when he has been seen and heard; he becomes more than a name in print. Three simple rules should guide the decision as to whether a given story warrants a press conference : 1. Have a subject interesting enough to take up the time of the busy reporters. 2. Have someone able to present it intelligibly to re- porters. 3. Be prepared to take in your stride mistakes and mis- interpretations that may be made as the result of the press conference. Let us suppose that you do have the subject and you do News Releases 93 have the person— and look back for a moment to the business organization itself. There must be some affinity between person and subject. The chairman of the board should usually not talk about a new scientific development, unless he chances to be the best scientist in the company. The man who did the work, or the head of the research department, is preferable. Nor should the scientist be asked to leave his usual role to discuss top-management policies. At times a high official of a company may desire a press conference. This may pose a difficult problem, if in the pub- licity man's judgment such a conference is not warranted. There is a simple expedient for getting around this problem, if not solving it. Telephone to half a dozen of the editors who covered the last press conference held by your com- pany and ask whether they are interested in covering an- other one. This will furnish a basis of sound judgment. Now let us suppose that you have decided to go ahead and hold the press conference. After you have decided who is to be interviewed and what he is to talk about, you have the further planning problems of where and when. The place is of great importance. Company headquarters of the company's plant are ideal, provided they are located near enough to the editors' offices so that they won't have to waste a great deal of time in travel. A parlor in a mid-town hotel in one of the large cities is another good place, or an exclusive club may be appropriate. Bear in mind that some clubs do not admit women, even reporters. In all other ways, women reporters are on equal footing with men. They do not expect special attention. As to when to hold the press conference, do not rush it, do not be hasty. City editors and other editors should be 94 Publicity for Prestige and Profit given time to assign a staff member capable of handling the occasion. To find out the best time for a particular press conference, ask the editors for advice. The press associations often prefer 11 a.m. rather than twelve or one o'clock, be- cause it enables reporters to cover the story, return to their offices, and write it. The industrial magazines, on the other hand, sometimes prefer the lunch hour. They have an opportunity to finger after a luncheon conference and ask questions which the daily-newspaper reporters could not do. So the nature of the conference, the subject, and the man, often govern the time to be selected. Check the details of your press-conference planning in advance. Make sure none of the following steps are neg- lected: 1. Write a release on the conference subject and clear it with the appropriate company people. Have mimeographed copies on hand, to be distributed at the end of the con- ference. 2. Prepare a longer background memorandum on the subject if it may be needed, and get clearances in advance. 3. Prepare advance photographs when appropriate. 4. Send written invitations. Follow up with telephone calls on the day of the press conference. Keep a check on reporters who attend. Send release material to those who do not. 5. Specify precise time and place. If in a hotel or other public building, give the room number. 6. Remind company participants well in advance that their presence is expected. 7. Confer with the speaker on what he is to say. Write out a brief memo for him to read or refer to at the start. News Releases 95 8. Serve cocktails or luncheon when they fit in, but do not stage a drinking party. 9. During the conference, be prepared with two or three stimulating questions, in case no reporter asks them. This often starts the ball rolling. 10. Introduce every reporter who attends to the spokes- man in person. Do not be content with a mass introduction. chapter 8 Feature Articles In the feature article the publicity man must do more than present an expanded press release. Whether intended for daily newspaper (up to 700 words), Sunday supplement (500 to 1,000 words), weekly or monthly magazine (up to 3,000 words), the feature possesses a dimension lacking in the quickly produced and quickly grasped news release. It has depth. To the extent that it penetrates, leaving a lasting impression on the reader's mind, it is successful. Too often, length alone is considered the criterion. Choice of subject, of writer, of treatment, and of medium of publica- tion assumes more importance than in handling news. To recognize this principle and to apply it to every case may be difficult. The difference between a spot-news story and a full-length feature article, acceptable for publication in a general, busi- ness, or technical magazine or a newspaper's feature section, is frequently neglected in practice. This neglect is reflected in hundreds of superficial articles submitted to editors. Some- times the subject or the reputation of a by-line author is so important that the editor compromises, but he much prefers submission of a professionally written article, slanted to his readers. Just because material is sent to a magazine rather than a 96 Feature Articles 97 newspaper does not take it out of the release class and put it into the feature category. Those releases discussed in the preceding chapter which can be sent to magazines in varied fields by reworking the lead or introduction still are releases, not feature articles in the way we mean the term. Seldom is the feature article based on a single event. Sup- pose your company holds an open-house day, inviting em- ployees, community leaders, and customers to visit a plant and learn about its operations. This is the basis for a press release when the event occurs. The material could, it is true, be made the subject for a feature article, but the article would have more breadth as well as penetration if based on two or three or half a dozen similar events. Then it might be written up for a magazine by choosing one of several ap- proaches and treatments. These titles suggest various ways of handling the topic: How to Conduct an Open House Junior Watches Dad at Work Customers See the Wheels Go Round Safety Precautions for Your Open House Industry Invites the Neighbors In Diverse as these approaches are, they only hint at the possibilities. The articles have more than a topic in common, however. Each of them discusses the significance of one or more aspects of the open-house day. Logical interpretation calls for more than a single occasion, and that is why such an article will be more acceptable if the factual basis is broadened to include a number of examples. Here we go a step farther than imparting information; we give the in- formation meaning and significance. 98 Publicity for Prestige and Profit TOPICS Any company activity of more than passing or novelty interest is a fair topic for article treatment. Often the com- plaint is heard from editors that a subject is "too light. " This usually is due to the publicity man's attempt to expand a release, to make more of a current happening than is justi- fied. Immediate timeliness fades out in the feature article. Frequently six months to a year elapse between first offer- ing of a feature article and its publication. If the subject is seasonal, it may be preferable to schedule the article when the season rolls around again. Think of all the Christmas features you have read. They are based on past Christmases. Nothing could fall more flat than a Christmas feature in a January issue of a magazine. A simple rule: Ask yourself, "Will this topic be of superior interest, will it still be a live topic, when the article appears in print?" Sometimes writers and editors have to work fast, to make sure a topic that is of superior interest doesn't get cold before the penetrating article can appear. Space may be held for last-minute copy; but the feature article, even when this element of timeliness is important, remains a dis- cussion and an interpretation, more than a news report. Select your topic, make sure the needed information is available and that an informed writer can be assigned to it, before you begin to awaken editorial interest. It is painful to get an acceptance of an idea, only to find you are not in position to deliver what the editor wants. TAILOR THE ARTICLE A publicity man placed an article of high importance to his company by going to a magazine office, discussing the Feature Articles 99 topic with an editor, and then asking permission to look over files of the magazine for the past two years. This unusual request was not a ruse, but indicated a sincere desire to tailor the article to the length, style, method of illustration, and general treatment of that particular magazine. This is what editors like, a willingness to conform to their specifica- tions (see Chapter 4). COMPANY AUTHORS Beware of suggesting yourself as the author whose name appears with the article, unless you are writing on your own specialty. True, you have the chore of putting the words down, for perhaps the majority of publicity features are writ- ten by publicity men, either anonymously for the company or under the by-line of a company man who is an authority in his field. The man whose by-line is used is the author. Writing an article, therefore, does not make you its author. The literary ghost is a respectable assistant, his function rec- ognized everywhere and frequently applauded, for he makes possible many fine articles that otherwise never could be published. Do not be misled by arty people who think this calling demeans a writer. Actually, it presents great advan- tages, for it enables one to explore many realms, to become the confidant of thoughtful and important leaders, and to develop one's powers of self-expression. All the same, there is danger in doing all the writing for company authors. This should be a joint enterprise whenever possible. Several good devices enable the author to keep the flavor of his own personality, ideas, and language, while de- pending on the writer to prepare the final manuscript. 1. Get the author to write a first draft, with the clear 100 Publicity for Prestige and Profit understanding that you will use your professional talents to edit and perhaps rewrite it. 2. Interview the author, taking notes in order to keep as many of his turns of expression as possible. Then write a draft, and let him do the first editing and turn it back to you for final preparation before submission to an editor. 3. A handy way to facilitate the writing is to take a tape recorder along for the interviews. This yields the author's actual words better than your note taking could do. 4. If the author has no time to spend in actual writing, ask him to give you an outline of the points he wishes to make, supplementing this with all the printed or written material at hand— past speeches, memoranda, and reports— that will be useful to you in writing. 5. If you are thoroughly familiar with the topic, you may venture to write it up yourself, and receive only the author's approval and such corrections as he may suggest. Curiously, this is more likely to happen in top echelons than with the specialists. For example, material on the company's history may be accessible to you, while a new president would be unfamiliar with it. Or if a trend is to be discussed, you may do the digging out of facts from statistical, sales, production, and other departments. You may even present an interpretation in line with the executive's thinking or feed him ideas that never would have occurred to him. The more useful the publicity man makes himself in thinking as well as writing for top management, the more he will be valued. Never could a publicity man have better opportunity to reveal hidden management abil- ities than in first doing the thinking, then using the right words to put into a superior's mouth. The article written by Feature Articles 101 the publicity man, to be successful, should contrive to express the personality of the executive, however. Friends— and those who are not friendly— will be quick to detect false notes, expressions the executive would never ordinarily use, or fancy words not in his vocabulary. To ghost a good article demands a thorough acquaintance with the author, and calls for rare skill, comparable to that of a first-rate actor, who sincerely and honestly transforms himself for the moment into the character he portrays. Danger lurks in making an attempt to do the whole job for more than one top executive, at least until sufficient time elapses for the writer to step completely out of one role and into another. The article that could be signed by any one of a half-dozen authors is a poor article. THE SPOKESMAN-AUTHOR Only rarely does a highly literate, thoughtful man such as Clarence Randall of Inland Steel build a reputation as an author in his own right at the same time he wins distinction as a captain of industry. When this combination can be achieved, the publicity man's life is made happy, for editors seek his company spokesman out and the feature-article problem goes into reverse: not how to place the material but how to select the publications that will be of most bene- fit. In these exceptional circumstances the author-manager frequently develops into a spokesman for his entire industry, not only his own company. If a spokesman is that good, it is not likely that he will call upon his publicity man to do the writing, though the latter may be asked to marshal facts and round up background. Though we speak here of a vara avis, the genus is on the 102 Publicity for Prestige and Profit increase. Business leaders today have more formal education as a class and wider sociological scope and tend less and less to be the graduates of the school of hard knocks. Though they may be less colorful, they are more articulate. Thus the publicity man whose company spokesman exhibits writing ability acquires an entirely new set of obligations: to use his influence in persuading the spokesman of the value of his own words in print, to win enough of his time for careful preparation of manuscripts, and to encourage editors to re- quest an article at a time and on a subject that will bring the company most benefit. OUTSIDE AUTHORS Some editors prefer to assign a member of their own staffs or a free-lance writer to do a feature article on a company. Mass-circulation magazines such as The Readers Digest, The Saturday Evening Post, and Colliers have "stables" of writers with whose work they are familiar, and these include specialists in business writing. So great is their need of good material, however, that they also welcome well-done work from free-lance writers of less reputation. The publicity man in either case is responsible only for supplying information, after an editor has become interested in a subject. Often a feature article will deal with a general aspect of a topic, as in the case of a story on the older worker, on exten- sion of the life span, on the trend of industry to decentralize, and the like. A publicity man may suggest these general articles to editors, knowing that competing companies also will be mentioned. The publicity man for a smallish company needs to be on the alert to learn when this type of feature article is in the Feature Articles 103 making in the magazine shop, so that his company's con- tribution may not be overlooked. Rich dividends in publicity are to be garnered by small industries by being in touch with the big-circulation magazines and keeping editors in- formed about their companies. This may be done by putting these editors on the mailing list for important press releases— and not annoying them with minor ones— and by suggesting feature-article possibilities from time to time. Many business magazines also assign staff writers to do feature articles, and welcome suggestions from publicists. This is the simplest route to placement, as it assures the editor the material will be handled to his liking. Precautions must be taken, however, in setting up interviews for the magazine man with management or plant personnel. Before the interview, those concerned should be briefed as to the subject to be covered; firm dates should be set, so that everyone necessary to the story will be available at an ap- pointed hour. By this prior explanation and arrangement, one of the outside writers' chief annoyances can be avoided, the assumption on the part of an uninformed company official that information should not be divulged. Make sure before the interview that clearance has been obtained for the material that is to form the basis of the article. SPEECH INTO ARTICLE The technical paper, the scientific or engineering report, the speech based on a phase of research or management, all may lend themselves to reworking as feature articles. This type of material may be processed by the publicity de- partment, but much needless labor can be saved by prepar- ing an outline and "shopping the market" before it is treated 104 Publicity for Prestige and Profit as an article. Editors usually do not warm up to the idea of reprinting a speech, except in an official technical journal. The article may demand a new approach and even the addition of new material, to make it suitable for publica- tion. TARGET RANGE As a rule there is a group of several magazines competing for the attention of a particular audience. Long before a word is put to paper, the publicity man should have in mind the group in which he expects to find his particular target. Standard Rate and Data Service publishes monthly lists of newspapers and business and general magazines, an excel- lent reference particularly useful in this instance because the periodicals are catalogued according to the fields they cover. The annual list published by N. W. Ayer and Son, Inc., is differently arranged but contains much of the same information. One or both are standard items for the pub- licity bookshelf. OUTLINE With the target area in mind, an outline of the proposed article should be prepared. This may be one to three type- written pages in length. It should relate the topic, a suggested title, name of the author, and suggested length. It is prefer- able to use an outline rather than a completed script, for submission to editors. PLACEMENT Unlike the press release, the feature article is for the ex- clusive use of one publication in a field. A logical procedure Feature Articles 105 is first to approach the editor of the magazine with largest circulation or influence. This should be done in person where possible. Take along the outline and as many good photo- graphs and other illustrations as are available. Though edi- tors do not want the completed manuscript at first, they do want to see all the pictures. Many an article has been placed because of outstanding illustrations. When the article is on the border line, the visual presentation helps the editor to decide in its favor. A good title also helps the cause along. Newspaper editors, as we have warned, must write their own headlines because of type and column restrictions. Magazine editors welcome title suggestions. Few editors will say right off that they will publish an article seen in outline only. But they will express interest, and that is the publicity man's clue to go ahead with the idea. He should take care to warn the company author he has selected that acceptance is tentative until the completed article has been submitted, however. There is no objection to showing a magazine editor out- lines of three or four feature articles on the same visit. A pioneer industrial-publicity man, Hendley Blackmon of West- inghouse Electric, made up outlines on many topics, visited editors, and helped them schedule their magazine content many months ahead. His useful service to magazines as well as to his company set an example now widely followed by several of the largest corporations. If the first editor visited exhibits no interest in your topic, try it on the other magazines in the same field. If three or four turn it down, recognize that no matter how much the company would like to see the article in print, editorial 106 Publicity for Prestige and Profit judgment has to be final. Put the article away until a more timely approach suggests itself. PRODUCTION TIMETABLE Each proposed article should be handled as a separate project. A schedule should be prepared, giving the "target date" for every step. There is no better way to brighten the smile of welcome on an editor's face than past performance of getting manuscripts to him on time. Your work project schedule should contain the following dates: 1. Company approval of topic and author. 2. Delivery of outline by author. 3. Agreement by editor to consider article. 4. Discussion between editor and author if required. 5. Submission of finished and approved draft. 6. Publication. MERCHANDISING THE ARTICLE When the article appears in print, its usefulness to the company is only halfway done. There is an audience in the particular field that either does not take this magazine, failed to notice the article, or having skimmed through it would keep it for reference if available. By the reprint, the scope of readership can be multiplied. In addition, a reprint from a recognized publication carries more prestige than would the same message sent out as sales promotion by the company. The reprint tells its recipient, "This company had something to say of such import that this magazine pub- lished it. Ergo, you had better not miss reading it." Reprints sometimes are made by the magazine, through arrangement by which the company pays the cost. Permis- Feature Articles 107 sion will usually be given to the company to produce its own reprint, of course with credit to the magazine and observance of its copyright. Some of the larger general maga- zines, however, will not permit reprints, for valid policy reasons. chapter 9 Industrial Photography The camera opens the door to a thousand publicity sources. Good photographs win a welcome in every newspaper and most magazine offices. Roughly a third of publicity stories lend themselves to picture treatment. This is the best third, the most dramatic and interesting, the most likely to stick in the reader's mind. Telling a story in pictures has the great advantage that they simplify the message. It is not so liable to be misunder- stood, garbled, or misinterpreted as if conveyed by words alone. SELECTION OF SUBJECTS A successful photograph enables the person who sees it to grasp its central idea in an instant. In fact, it forces him to do so. He could skip paragraphs or even pages of text, but the picture freezes his attention long enough to impart its message, no matter how quickly he glances away. From the publicity point of view, a good photograph is one so simple as not to demand long study, and so interest- ing as to invite reading the lines of type, called a caption, that accompany the picture. The newspaper or magazine editor who selects a few photographs for publication from the many at his disposal 108 Industrial Photography 109 gives priority usually to those that evoke an emotion. This is ideally accomplished by including an element of the familiar and quickly recognized, and also an element of sur- prise or apparent incongruity. Two news pictures of World War II illustrate this point. One, by Joseph Rosenthal of the Associated Press, showed three United States Marines planting an American flag on a hillock, under fire at Iwo Jima. The other, by Ivan Dmitri, depicted a Sicilian mother during a bombing raid, cradling a baby on her arm, while an older child stretched forth a protecting hand to guard the infant. In both cases the ele- ment recognized was human beings, displaying the ability to forget self in desperate circumstances; and the surprise element was the battle scene. In the Iwo Jima picture the flag enhanced the sense of recognition. Now to apply the same recognition-surprise principle to pictures selected from publicity files: Subject: A white cat and a black one. They are perched on an appliance in a living room (recognition). One cat's normally white coat has been blackened by the soot of a Pittsburgh winter indoors. The other remains white because an electrostatic air cleaner has been installed in the house where it stayed ( surprise ) . This outstanding publicity photo- graph was still being published ten years after its first ap- pearance. Subject: A foot kicking a football (recognition). A deep dent in the football twists it out of normal shape ( surprise ) . Microsecond photography made it possible to demonstrate what the eye cannot see. Subject: A group of laboratory retorts, tubes, and similar equipment (recognition). All are held in the palm of a man's 110 Publicity for Prestige and Profit hand (surprise). They were miniatures used in minuscule chemical experiments. Subject: A large, expensively furnished executive office (recognition). Seated at a desk is a twelve-year-old boy (surprise). The picture symbolizes an industry's recognition of Boy Day. Note that none of these examples were freakish or in bad taste. All had a purpose. None of the central ideas could have been told as well in words alone. Introduction of attractive children, pretty girls, and ani- mals into advertising pictures is for the purpose of luring attention to the advertised gadget by associating it with a familiar and pleasant subject; or if it looks much like compet- ing merchandise, the winsomeness of the model may over- come the buyer's ennui. Stagy posing of this sort should be used sparingly in publicity pictures. There is plenty of opportunity to use good-looking people and pets where they make sense in a picture, without straining for effect. Sudden fortuity, bringing the element of surprise, should stimulate thinking, but too often a publicity man is satisfied with the obvious. An unusual snowfall decorated a Southern city in white. The head of a company was asked to pose, making a snow man. He declined, on the grounds that he never had made one, it was not "in character," and out-of- town shareholders would consider it a "press-agent stunt." The publicity photographer thereupon sought a timely picture that would have significance. Refusal by the top man stimulated the cameraman to think, instead of being content with the "cute" routine shot he had first proposed. A few months previously, over-all views of the new air-conditioned plant had failed to excite editors' interest. Now the photog- Industrial Photography 111 rapher chose a snow-framed window, overhung with icicles. He arranged lighting inside the building properly. Then he posed an employee, in shirt sleeves, engaged in working at a bench by the window (recognition). This view of a man in comfort despite wintry weather outside (surprise) was welcomed by editors. To another photographer, assigned to an archaeological project, a picture story seemed warranted when he observed scientists and crew toiling through drifted snow. Editors turned it down, because to them it was no more interesting than if the men had been ordinary ditchdiggers, who often work in bad weather without praise. This forced the photog- rapher to think. He added a surprise element— an archaeol- ogist using a mine detector to seek three-hundred-year-old artifacts buried beneath snowdrifts and earth. This added element brought wide circulation for the picture. Most pictures are immeasurably helped by including a human subject. The size of a gigantic press was emphasized by placing a man alongside. This had the added value of showing scale, enabling the reader to grasp the idea of big- ness instantly. A book or pamphlet is much more interesting if a hand is holding it and shadow treatment is properly given. People are always to be preferred over things as sub- jects, but the publicity picture often is required to depict a product or process. When this is true, the person or persons in the picture must belong there. Arrangement of objects and suggestive lighting sometimes build an effect of beauty or the unusual, without a human subject. A pattern of rows of small parts, with careful atten- tion paid to light and shadow, is more dramatic than a view of only one mechanical object. Fabric or other textural back- 112 Publicity for Prestige and Profit grounds can step up aesthetic appeal. The pattern picture calls for the expert eye of the photographer, however. The publicity man who works with him should suggest, but leave to the professional the technical and artistic arrangement. WORKING WITH PHOTOGRAPHERS Fortunate the publicity man who falls into the hands of an experienced news photographer. Do's and don't's of his trade have been assimilated so that he does the right thing automatically. He is a good teacher, to be respected on such matters as composition, lighting, and editorial appeal. Many industrial plants employ their own photographers, some of whom have not done news work. They too are competent craftsmen, but it is important to remember that the bulk of their work is for engineering and record purposes, and thus their usual photographic objectives are far different from those of publicity. A piece of machinery, no matter how glamorous to its makers, is still just a piece of machinery to outside editors, until imagination has enveloped it. Then it may be given a universal appeal. The plant manager and the sales manager want the company's name plate on the machinery polished up so that it can be read in the picture. The publicity man has to shun such labeling, in the interest of better and more dramatic aspects of the apparatus. The detail usually un- observed, the oddity, the familiar seen from a surprise angle, lend strength. Whether the reader can see at a glance just how the machine works is not always the most important point in publicity, though it well may be in photographs destined for industrial magazines, and almost always is in the sales-promotional, engineering, and other photographic Industrial Photography 113 work on which the plant cameraman may spend most of his time. An imaginative publicity photographer was assigned to a series depicting the various operations in a Pittsburgh mill. He came up with one set of pictures of— just machinery. On the same visit, he took his own series, likening various pieces of equipment to musical instruments— pneumatic tubes be- came organ pipes, an arrangement of cables was a viola, a boring mill the turntable of a phonograph, a giant air vent a tuba, etc. Under the title "A Symphony of Industry," photographer Charles Nelson produced a historic full page of pictures, placed with a New York picture syndicate. When a photographer shows talent in finding the unusual, the wise publicity man lets him go his own gait. In such a situation, he recognizes that the photographer knows pub- licity. As a corollary, the publicity man should know some- thing about photography, too, in order to direct it intelli- gently. He need not be a photographer, but he should be capable of operating a camera in emergency. This demands study and practice. It equips him for one of his most impor- tant duties, that of giving the photographer specific and not vague instruction as to subject, treatment, the reason for taking the picture, and its possible markets. The more the photographer knows about the destined use of the picture, the better work he will turn out, yet too often there is re- luctance to equip him with this helpful background. Possession of a small camera with an f/3.5 (or better) lens and flash attachment has two invaluable uses. First, on visits to unfamiliar places, a picture record won- derfully freshens up the memory when one sits down to write the stories one has collected. 114 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Second, the fact that pictures are being taken, even casual snapshots, intensifies the interest of those encountered. Test trips taken with and without the camera have demonstrated that people are markedly easier to interview, take more trouble to explain, and exhibit more pride in accomplish- ment when a camera is there than when it isn't. This fact, proved empirically, might well be the subject of a learned psychological dissertation. For present purposes, it is worth applying. (Warning: Cameras cannot be taken without offi- cial authorization into plants manufacturing classified mili- tary equipment.) Choice of type of camera, grade of film, placement of light- ing, all demand technical photographic training. Since most publicity people can't be expected to double as photog- raphers under ordinary circumstances, it is better to leave such matters to the skillful and qualified cameraman. No matter how gifted an amateur photographer you may be, do not tread on the professional's toes by overdoing directions. Do not get in his hair by use of technical terms such as parallax, focal length, and depth of field. However, look to the five following details yourself when possible: 1. Be wary of the "horizontal" picture, i.e., wider than it is high. For mechanical reasons, the "vertical" shot is usually preferred for publication. Even in over-all pictures of plant exteriors or interiors, come as near to the square or the ver- tical oblong as possible. Frequently the shape of the final picture can be determined by cropping. To crop a photo- graph, take a ruler and a china-marking (grease) pencil. On the face of the glossy print, outline the area wanted. Then get new prints enlarged to standard size, showing only the part you want. Skill in cropping comes with practice. Do not Industrial Photography 115 leave it up to the photographer or the editor to whom the picture is submitted. Either could do it, but it makes more work, and the publicity man should know exactly what he wants shown and what emphasized. As a rule of thumb, the smaller the area taken in by the final print, permitting a close- up image, the more acceptable the picture will be to editors. 2. "Police" the location. Take away the cocktail glasses on the table in front of company executives. Ask the machine operator to put on a clean shirt without a tear in it. Let girl models primp before shooting; it improves their morale and does no harm. Get grease and dirt wiped off machinery and the faces, hands, and forearms of male operators. Get litter removed. Even get a window washed or a section of wall painted if they are dingy. Ask the model in a factory picture to throw away the cigar or cigarette. An old-timer, pipe in mouth, may provide a good character shot, but cigars and cigarettes indicate lack of concentration on the job. As a final precaution, make sure all safety appliances are properly in use. Do not remove a shield or other pro- tective device to get a better picture. 3. Publicity pictures require much better technical quality, more attention to good lighting, to bringing out a dramatic emphasis on one part of a scene, than do run-of-mill indus- trial pictures. On the other hand, do not stray into the advertising-picture and sales-promotion-picture traps. A large sign with the name of the company too prominent may spoil the chances of publication. The professional glamour-girl model looks out of place in a factory shot, even if dressed in blue jeans. By depending on indigenous pulchritude you not only get a more natural picture, but please a whole group of workers, part of your public. 116 Publicity for Prestige and Profit 4. Except when you want the effect of spectators, do not show a row of the backs of people's heads in the foreground. A three-quarters view of a face is usually the most interesting. When it comes to getting models to relax and act naturally, the photographer is a master; don't interfere. Just stand there and hold the extra flash bulb if requested, and leave most of the posing to him. Simply be sure he gets faces, not backs of heads. 5. Editors will bless you if you never submit a picture showing people shaking hands. The handshake is the curse of news photography. It is resorted to solely because of lack of imagination. Pose subjects looking at something, pointing, hugging, kissing, anything but shaking hands. Editors grow bitter about this. They are forced into using so many hand- shake pictures in the course of normal events that when one comes in from a publicity man their first and often final impulse is to toss it aside. HIRING PHOTO SERVICE The company employee who is an amateur photographer is to be encouraged only to enter snapshot contests. An occasional volunteer picture may be usable in an employee publication, and in emergency for other purposes. To the publicity man operating on a small budget, it may be allur- ing to save the fees of the professional by merely paying for the amateur's supplies. This is false economy, for soon the amateur will consider himself a semi-pro, and find need for exposure meter, enlarger and other darkroom equipment, a better camera, and a hundred and one appurtenances he sees advertised. On the day he is sorely needed he will be tied up on his regular job. Better, therefore, to repress his Industrial Photography 117 soaring ambition right from the start, even if he is the presi- dent's nephew. For company field projects in out-of-the-way places, an employee may be the only recourse. Even so, there is prob- ably a commercial photographer in a nearby town who will give more dependable service and get better results, at an extremely modest cost. In the distant plant city or other location where the pub- licity man cannot supervise directly, arrangements for cover- age of company pictures should be made well in advance when expedient. If there is a choice between the staff photog- rapher of a newspaper and the proprietor of a local photo- graphic studio, the former is usually preferable, for publicity pictures. It is likely that the studio man gets more regular company business, for engineering and record purposes, but the news cameraman is more likely to produce lively pictures that editors will want, as this is the kind he is shooting every day. The commercial departments of the national picture agen- cies depend on correspondent-photographers in most cities the country over. By dealing with one of these agencies the publicity man is assured of work that meets adequate stand- ards. This arrangement also saves the detail work involved in instructing photographers at long range. It is more prac- tical to explain to the agency's representative in person, following up with written instructions. Some photographers in the larger cities make a specialty of industrial publicity work. Their charge is about the same as that of the agencies— approximately $150 a day for camera crew and supplies, plus travel expenses. For a single pub- licity news assignment, the cost runs from $15 to $25, for 118 Publicity for Prestige and Profit three different pictures. Extra prints cost from 50 cents to one dollar each, sometimes less in large quantities. The most satisfactory arrangement, when the company does not have its own photographic staff, is to hire one agency regularly. The representative and cameramen of the agency acquire familiarity with the company's needs and ways of doing things, and not infrequently come up with picture ideas that otherwise would have been overlooked. When regular work is anticipated, in fairly large volume, costs per assignment go down slightly. Another advantage is that the large picture agencies pos- sess mechanical facilities for processing hundreds of prints overnight if needed, for multityping and attaching captions and company identification, and for delivery to editors. The three largest, United Press, Press Association, and Inter- national Newspictures, also rent wirephoto facilities to client companies for instantaneous transmittal of news photos. The publicity man should accompany the hired photog- rapher on assignment whenever possible. A written-out "shooting script," or list of the pictures wanted, is a con- venience; but competent photographers should always be given leeway to pick up shots not planned, which their trained eyes see as possibilities as they go about their work. PHONY PHOTOGRAPHERS Fake photo agencies reap a large harvest in useless picture taking, in large cities. Typically, a company executive whose name has appeared in the newspapers will receive a phone call, asking permission to send a photographer around, in Industrial Photography 119 order to supply the demand of editors for the gentleman's picture. No obligation, of course. Unless an alert publicity man blocks the play, the phony-photo-agency photographer arrives with camera and lights, takes a dozen portrait pic- tures, and returns a few days later with proofs— plus a stag- gering bill. The executive has been placed in an embarrassing position, for he will be joshed over his vanity if the secret comes out. Therefore he usually pays and hopes nobody will be the wiser. Obviously no editors have really asked for the pic- tures, and none receive them. If the executive is courageous, however, he will refuse any payment and have the fake photographer escorted from the premises. Thereafter he will establish what he should have had at the start— an ironclad rule that all photographic salesmen be referred immediately to the publicity department. Many legitimate studios specialize in executive portraits. They do not make false statements to obtain sittings, but welcome an opportunity to deal through proper publicity channels. They supply glossy prints for publicity use at com- petitive prices and being good businessmen obtain profitable prices for fancy enlargements ordered by the executive for his personal use. To draw the line between the honest and dishonest photographic salesmen, only one phrase need be uttered: "See our publicity man." The legitimate representa- tive will head for the publicity office, the fake one for the nearest exit. JOURNALISTIC PICTURES Granted a universal appeal based on recognition-surprise elements, technical excellence, and good timing, what chance 120 Publicity for Prestige and Profit has a publicity picture of getting published? The fact that so many are used gives the best answer. They appear in every- thing from dining-car menus to twenty-four-volume encyclo- pedias, by the thousands a year. They compete against pic- tures from newspaper and magazine staffs, syndicates, agencies, and commercial and free-lance photographers, yet hold their own. Actually, the quality of journalistic pho- tography has been vastly improved by this competition. Analysis of one edition of a thirty-six-page standard-size New York daily newspaper reveals the following score : Number of pictures Entertainment 12 Business ( products ) 7 Business ( people ) 6 Sports 6 Educational 5 Military 4 Crime 3 Political 2 Total 45 Of these only eleven (sports, crime, and political) had probably not been supplied or suggested by a publicity worker, and there is doubt that all the sports pictures origi- nated in the newspaper staff or the picture syndicates that serve it. A check of all New York daily and Sunday news- papers for one week showed about 40 per cent publicity pictures. Informed study of your own favorite newspaper will reveal similar dependence on cooperation from outside. And analvses of magazines indicate the same trend. Industrial Photography 121 The fiction that staff -produced pictures are somehow more expertly conceived and executed than those from publicity sources is, however, sedulously cultivated, especially by pic- ture magazines. Though about 75 per cent of picture ideas for these magazines come from publicity people, at times a staff photographer is sent out to duplicate a picture or a series submitted. The result is just as likely to be inferior as to be superior. The business reason advanced for this waste- ful procedure is twofold: the picture magazine can blandly point to its own photographer's name as creator of its picture, and the industrial or other publicity source can be deprived of credit if desired. Whether there is a sound moral basis is a matter of opinion. One highfalutin industrial magazine accepted a picture- story idea, requested a day's use of special apparatus which was trucked 90 miles for the occasion— and then omitted all identification of the company which had expended consider- able courtesy, time, and money on the picture. The excuse proffered was that editorial ethics did not permit giving "free" space to the cooperating company. This instance, fortunately far from typical, is cited to emphasize that irresponsibility, so long laid at the door of the "press agent," and not without reason, also manages to creep into editorial offices. The honest publicity worker is at a disadvantage, for he has little recourse, and on the next occasion must discharge his own obligation just as faith- fully as ever. Forewarned with this knowledge, however, the publicity worker does have an opportunity to choose which publica- tions shall receive his most attractive pictures and picture- story ideas. So popular have business photographs become in 122 Publicity for Prestige and Profit all journalistic media that a good one is bound to find an appropriate market. At the height of editorial scorn for the cooperation of industry, one magazine sent camera crews, assisted by mili- tary personnel under "training," to forty-two industrial plants where military apparatus was in the making, in a single day. Forty-one of the publicity departments involved were disap- pointed to discover that only one picture of the thousand or more taken was used. In this case the magazine was regarded as having used the crowds assembled in forty-two large plants as a means of promoting its circulation. It is doubt- ful that such a performance could be repeated now, because the publicity worker is advancing toward a professional status, and protective measures against this sort of exploita- tion can be employed. TRASH INTO TREASURE When executive offices of a certain company were being moved, in a Wall Street building, a newly hired publicity helper was drafted to carry some of the framed pictures of plants and apparatus. Seeing one that had been discarded, he took the picture from its frame, visited the office of a book publisher, and returned triumphant. He had suspected that this textbook house might have need of an industrial picture which need not be up-to-the-minute. In the fine- quality oversize print, the book editor saw a symbol of the strength of industry, and he used the picture effectively as a frontispiece. Acknowledging a certain element of luck in this particular instance, it does illustrate a much more impressive factor- enterprise in presenting pictures to editors. For an excep- Industrial Photography 123 tional series, prints 11 by 17 inches, without margins, may appropriately be shown to Sunday-supplement, magazine, and book editors, but such deliveries always should be made in person. Diligence in keeping track of old pictures yields a mine of hidden treasures. A good picture need not die with today's newspaper. Its secondary uses, over months or even years, more than justify the trouble involved in keeping on hand a minimum of three prints of every picture sent out and of engaging in a periodic treasure hunt through the files. To avoid confusion, every print in the files should be date- stamped lightly on the back, and each should have attached a copy of the original caption. For later uses, the caption will usually be rewritten, and it would be folly to try to place an old picture under the guise of newness. Such practices have a nasty way of boomeranging, for almost inevitably some- body connected with the periodical or book publisher will possess an uncanny memory; the date of the picture will not spoil its chances of use, but deception will do so. Within the company, publicity pictures from former years may prove invaluable, if correctly dated and classified, and captioned with accurate information. Patent and other law- suits may be won by such evidence; company histories may be built upon old picture files; feature articles in companv and outside magazines can be fattened up. Equally valuable, the files serve as a record, when the time comes to make a report of publicity activities. COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY Widening fields beckon for full-color publicity pictures. Sunday supplements and general and women's magazines 124 Publicity for Prestige and Profit represent the principal market; but many magazines of small or special circulation use color for covers, and book pub- lishers are using them more lavishly than in the past. Techni- cal advancements in films and papers now make it possible to submit colored prints as well as transparencies. In most cases industrial color pictures should be made by arrange- ment with a publication interested in using them. However, some forward-thinking publicity departments equip camera- men with an extra camera containing color film, so that when the practice of serendipity leads them to an outstanding op- portunity they will be ready to seize it. Special lighting and other problems in color photography are within the ken of any professional cameraman. As the pictures are far more expensive than black-and-white, en- thusiasm should not lead to extravagant use. As yet the color picture is exceptional. A steel company profited by this fac- tor, in letting editors of the principal national magazines know that it had built up a file of color pictures from which selections could be made. All publications face occasional emergencies, and are glad to learn of such a place, where they may turn when color treatment is required and fresh- ness of subject demanded. AUXILIARY ILLUSTRATIONS A sketch may be more interesting and revealing than a photograph— e.g., a diagram of a military airplane. Maps are welcome, when appropriate, as are architects' renderings of the fagades of proposed buildings. Newspaper editors prefer line drawings, as simple as possible, or wash drawings that simulate photographs. Sketches of persons and events must be of exceptional quality to compete with the camera. The Industrial Photography 125 colored sketch or painting is in the same category as the color photograph— used infrequently but to great effect. In serving weekly and small daily newspapers, cost can be cut by offering matrices, thin cardboard or plastic images of a photograph, made from an engraver's plate. The mat, as editors call it, may include type as well as picture. When a clipsheet containing many short items is sent out, editors are usually notified that mats of the illustrations used are available on request. An electro is a metal plate, usually mounted on wood. It can be set into a type form in a small newspaper office, for direct printing or making a stereotype plate of a page. Be- cause of its weight, shipping costs are high. Most editors will accept mats instead of electros. For magazines printed on coated paper, an electro made from a copper engraving is sometimes requested, to save editorial cost. Unless the size makes for prohibitive expense, it is advisable to ask the editor to have a copperplate made instead; the company which will get the publicity usually bears this cost, by ar- rangement, but the price always should be stated in advance. When all four plates from a color reproduction are needed for reprinting in a publication, electros should be made, in- spected, and shipped, in order to ensure proper quality. The intended use is likely to be for the cover of a small magazine, and assurance should be had beforehand that the company from which the plates originated will be credited with the illustration. MECHANICS OF SUBMISSION Publicity pictures normally should be printed on glossy paper, size 8 by 10 inches ( 5 by 7 is sometimes acceptable ) . 126 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Each print should be numbered on the back, for ready identi- fication should it be spoiled and another needed quickly. The company name also should be lightly stamped on the back of the picture. The caption should not be written or typed on the back of the picture, but on a separate strip of paper, lightly fastened with rubber cement either to the back or along the bottom edge, where it may be folded over. On the caption strip the same number should appear as on the print itself. An ideal caption would be one line of typing. That would indicate a picture so good it told its own story. Seldom is this possible, however. Captions no longer are written in telegraphese, with articles and other short words omitted, but as nearly as possible in such clear, concise language as will demand no editing or cutting. Occasionally an important story is "carried" by a picture and a long caption, which may run up to 150 words. Or- dinarily a 50-word caption should suffice. When a series of pictures on related phases of one subject is submitted, one or two lines under each picture are enough; an additional general description, which may be up to a full page of typed information, accompanies the series. The glossy surface of the print is brittle. Any break or crack may ruin it for reproduction; hence no scribbling or typing on the back. For the same reason, great care should be exercised to see that a sheet of stiff corrugated cardboard, cut to size, is inserted in the envelope with the print or prints. This applies whether the package is to be mailed or delivered by hand. chapter 10 Television and Radio Even in today's newspaper, the printed word is a record of history. An event it describes may have happened but an hour ago, but still it belongs to the past. Radio and television, by contrast, convey the present moment, and thus impart a sense of urgency lacking in other means of mass communi- cation. Why are we more excited when a voice tells us something over the air than when we read the same facts in the eve- ning paper? Perhaps we have already read the news ac- counts before we tuned in— but when a first-rate commenta- tor repeats them, we pay attention, hanging on his words because they seem important. There are two reasons for this difference. First, the man with the voice seems to be excited over the news himself, and that is contagious. We receive a projection of his emo- tion, and share it. The second and more important reason why radio and television impart a feeling of urgency is that the message is ephemeral. Tune in a split second too late, and you have missed part of it. These words must be caught the instant they are said, or be lost forever. This impels us to pay much closer heed than when the same words are be- fore us in printed matter that could be laid aside and picked up again at will. 127 128 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Radio-television is a fast-moving vehicle, built on time, on the fleeting moment, and for that reason has terrific im- pact on its audience. The size of this audience outruns any- thing in previous experience. No printed publication could possibly reach so many people, and affect them with such emotional impact, as a network program of major impor- tance. MAKING RADIO-TV CONTACTS Management people in radio and television offices are more experienced in and therefore more adept at publicizing their own stations or networks than are their opposite num- bers in newspaper or magazine offices. Thus they have a friendly attitude toward outside publicity workers. All sta- tions have press-publicity departments of their own. There is no such dividing line between commercial and creative departments as is to be found between advertising and editorial workers on printed publications. Whether the infiltration of advertising into the entertainment part of a program is to be condemned, condoned, or cheered, it has gained such public acceptance that it is more likely to grow than decline. The same likable people— they must be likable to retain their audiences— sometimes tell the glories of a new kind of suds and at other times play comic or tragic parts in make-believe. Nobody seems to mind much. All this makes for the same air of informality as exists be- hind the scenes in a theater. It contrasts with the increasing decorum of newspaper and magazine offices. The reason it is of interest to the publicity man with an idea is that he can be sure of a gracious reception, without hauteur or patron- age. In this always somewhat playful realm of electronic Television and Radio 129 magic, he need not stand in a corner, hat in hand, but may present his ideas boldly and without apology and if they have merit may expect eager cooperation. The magic casement does have a way, however, of closing in the face of the long-winded bore, of the publicity man who came to ask for an idea instead of to offer one, and of him who too hastily invites all hands to join him at the bar, in the hope of slipping in a "plug" for a client. Radio-TV people value time, the precious commodity they sell, above all else, and the time waster soon finds this out to his dismay. While visitors are courteously received, a telephone call in- stead often will do as well, after acquaintance has been established. Some ways to save time in negotiating with radio-TV people: 1. Before you visit any radio or television station, listen to and look at programs emanating therefrom, as often as you can, for at least a week. It is insulting to show complete unfamiliarity with programs, particularly those originating in that station. 2. Write out your proposal and send it in advance by mail or messenger. Follow up with a personal visit. If the idea is turned down on the grounds of lack of entertainment value, try it at another station. If it is dismissed because the company or person concerned is not well enough known to rate the attention asked, try again, on a less important pro- gram. 3. On arrival at the station, have in readiness a typed-out description of just what you want. This may supplement the advance request. By writing it out, you are forced to examine the idea closely. Though many bright ideas for radio-TV do 130 Publicity for Prestige and Profit come out in chat and conversation, that is not the way to start. 4. Take no for an answer. Be prepared with an alternate idea in case the first one doesn't click. 5. When your mission has been accomplished, depart. Un- less specifically requested, do not make the rounds of the studios, except on a guided tour. 6. Follow up your visit with a budget of new ideas, whether or not your first suggestion was accepted. Test every idea rigidly, however, before you submit it. Do not return with an idea that was refused, for at least six weeks. 7. After your first getting-acquainted visit, spend an entire evening listening to or viewing all the programs of the sta- tion you were in. You will find new interest, and may now see reasons for some of the reactions you received. Note how your own attitude toward the program has changed, compared to when you watched and listened before the visit. WRITING FOR THE EAR Straight news announcements, such as are carried on press- association wires to newspapers, also go to radio and tele- vision stations. The copy is specially selected and rewritten for the ear and travels on leased wires. Network and local announcers may again change the wording, to fit the story into the time limits of a broadcast. If the same news item is repeated every hour at a given station, as happens often, it may be rewritten every hour, to give a sound of freshness to every broadcast or telecast. Unless there is some reason for special radio or television use of this daily-news material, the publicity man need not attempt rewriting for the ear. On many occasions, however, Television and Radio 131 he is likely to be asked to furnish a complete script and will be expected to follow the conventions of the spoken lan- guage. Attention to half a dozen basic devices makes this task fairly simple: The Gambit Introduce the subject in a conversational way, as if you were speaking to one person, not "the great unseen audi- ence." Watch newscasters on television, see how they impart an air of relaxed chattiness. On radio, delivery is likely to be more staccato, but the use of conversational language is equally important. Contractions Say "He won't," rather than "He will not." Prefer "He's going to fly" to "The trip will be made via airplane," "He said he'll be back on the job by Friday" to "Plans call for the return of the Secretary to his official duties at his desk in the State Department on Friday." Simple Expression A trick word may throw the announcer for a loss. If it is really needed, use it, but write out the phonetic spelling in parentheses after the word, e.g., beneficiation (ben-ee- fish-ee-ay-shun ) . Avoid long, balanced sentences, and short, jerky sentences. Write for the ear, the way you talk. Cease Hissing The letter 5 is not the only sibilant. Try saying "exacerba- tions" through a microphone; then go through copy and eliminate most hissing sounds. 132 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Round Numbers If your company's profit after taxes was $4,105,683, just say "slightly over four million dollars." It is easier on the listener, and actually sticks better in his memory. Picture Words By trimming out "lazy" words that fail to contribute to thought, you make room for "picture" words that vivify your story. Instead of "The party will be taken on a personally con- ducted tour through the plant by Phineas T. Scotchgrass, president of the company," say, "President Scotchgrass will show the visitors how a rainbow of color is teased out of ugly black coal tar in the three-acre plant." And instead of "The incidence of respiratory diseases has been markedly reduced among women employed in the company's offices since the installation of the bactericidal lamps last October, according to an announcement by company officials," say, "Only three girls lost a day's work because of colds this winter, compared to forty-two last year. That's what Jim Likely, health supervisor, told us. Those new lamps kill germs." Pause for Breath Punctuation in newspaper and magazine copy is held to a minimum because commas and the like slow down reading speed. The opposite practice is better for radio-TV. Dots and dashes, underlinings for emphasis, even the moribund ex- clamation point, flourish in scripts intended for the ear. Put in punctuation wherever a breathing place is needed, and lean toward liberality. Television and Radio 133 Transition The editor breaks up the news report, flowing in from many sources, into little parcels, each with its headline. The newspaper reader may pick and choose in this verbal cafe- teria, skipping those stories in which he has no interest. But the radio-TV newscaster has only one voice. By inflection he accomplishes wonders, but when he must move from one story to the next, he dare not be too abrupt, for the ear can't skip as readily as the eye. He's a storyteller, to whom conti- nuity is as important as content. The listener can't hark back to words previously spoken, to tell whether he under- stood correctly. The thread must not be broken, at least until the "commercial" rudely interrupts. The announcer therefore resorts to a "transition," a phrase or sentence that gives a momentary sense of linking the items together, though they may be totally unrelated. The transi- tion is not emphasized, but should be present. For example: ". . . and that is how one community today is honoring a leader of industry, Phineas Scotchgrass. . . . And speak- ing of industry, here's a bulletin. Workers in the Coldheart mine in West Virginia voted today to . . ." INSTITUTIONAL PROGRAMS Television and radio stations are naturally chary about giving away time they could sell. Aside from newscasts the publicity man finds many opportunities to provide interesting features for sustaining programs as well as those sponsored by other companies. The fact that his own company may be paying for one or more programs, no matter how lavish, is of little help in getting the company or products mentioned by 134 Publicity for Prestige and Profit others. Every publicity appearance has to stand on its merits as entertainment or public interest. Sometimes the publicity budget should include paid-for time. Such an occasion is a plant opening, community-day tour, or similar activity. Though the local stations will nor- mally report briefly the news of such events, much wider and more effective publicity will be obtained by taking from fifteen minutes to an hour for a "special event." Under such circumstances, the publicity department writes the "show," arranges sequences, takes responsibility for hav- ing people on hand at the right moment, and may handle newspaper publicity about the program, in cooperation with the station's publicity staff. Institutional programs of this sort, sponsored by industrial companies, are on the increase. They are related to the pages of institutional advertising sometimes taken in local news- papers for special occasions. The opportunity here is to tell the community of the company itself, rather than to stress products. When a special event is of sufficient interest to warrant the station's putting it on the air without charging for the time, it is a well-established custom for the company con- cerned to pay the extra expenses involved in running tele- vision or radio cables into the plant, setting up facilities for the station's engineers, etc. The cost is low. SUSTAINING PROGRAMS Television and radio look for the novel and the exceptional. Networks and local stations no more limit their coverage to companies who pay for time than do newspapers to those Television and Radio 135 who buy advertising. Many thousands of dollars are spent by the stations each year on sustaining programs, presented in the public interest, for which nobody pays them. These usually have an educational or civic-service tone. Conven- tions of scientists and annual meetings of national philan- thropic groups are typical. In additions, forums and panel appearances by amateur musical groups, interviews with prominent visitors, lectures or demonstrations by authorities, and amateur and hobby programs are wide open to industrial publicity. WHAT CAN BE PUBLICIZED Processes, products, personalities, and policies can be the subjects of participation in programs sponsored by others. It would be quite unusual for a single outside company to oc- cupy all the broadcast or telecast time. A small company actually has an opportunity to share the air without cost out of proportion to its economic importance, provided what it has to offer will entertain or instruct a large public. For example, a day in the life of a tugboat captain was condensed into seven fascinating minutes on a television program sponsored by an automobile manufacturer. A paper- bag manufacturer turned out a bag large enough to hold a man, whose efforts to fight his way out made for hilarity on a radio network. A pet hen whose owner had made her a garment got the manufacturer of a sewing machine into the spotlight at somebody else's expense. And a boy who traveled from Honolulu to Atlantic City in order to enter a marbles- championship contest was interviewed on the air at the many stops carefully arranged by his sponsor's publicity man. 136 Publicity for Prestige and Profit PROCESSES What the camera can show or sound effects impart about most industrial processes lacks entertainment value until it is hooked in with a personality. Thus a sequence of a steam whistle playing Christmas carols would have been merely a succession of screeches except for the "character" operator who had learned to perform the feat. A nonglamorous salt mine was made to seem inviting during a heat wave when workers were shown wearing sweaters. Installations where there is plenty of sound and fury, such as a huge foundry, have some chance on the air, and views of assembly lines, etc., occasionaly get by on the strength of military produc- tion, when they are manned either by brawny-type workers or by women so slight as to seem a little incongruous. By transporting a laboratory setup into a studio, such processes as treatment with fluorescent chemicals and ma- chining metal to minuscule tolerances often possess sufficient novelty to appeal to the sense of wonderment. PRODUCTS There is special demand for apparel items on television. Credit usually is given by signs or captions, seldom by voice. The fashion-publicity realm, so closely allied to the enter- tainment world, follows more closely the press-agent tech- niques of Broadway than does the publicity worker who serves less glamorous industries. Display of stylish wares by theatrical people is a useful and effective means of bringing them to the attention of consumers. To a limited extent, food publicity partakes of this same quality of being in the current vogue. Yet though jewels, frocks, hats, and shoes are re- Television and Radio 137 garded as necessary accouterments for many television pro- grams, it is rarely that a food item used on a show gains acknowledgment. An ingenious publicity man for a flour mill got over this hurdle very neatly, by putting on a pancake-making contest. It was staged in a New York hotel, and the participants were all men, most of them bearing "news names," that is, promi- nent enough to make editors and program directors inter- ested in the story. One reason, of course, for reluctance to push food products is that they are competitive as adver- tisers, and a favor to one might require additional and less warranted attention to publicity demands by others. Thus the flour mill's publicity man had an even more difficult task than if his company had made roller bearings or window glass. His triumph in getting on the air was the more cred- itable because it demanded the application of more than ordinary ingenuity. Such a gadget as the computing machine which "thinks" by electronic means is ordinarily more fitting for radio-TV publicity, and these devices have become so popular as to be commonplace on the air. All networks have programs on which oddities in the way of products are part of the show. In the local community it is not impossible to display locally manufactured articles as a matter of civic interest. Manufacturers of furniture, kitchen equipment, and the like are frequently asked to lend stage properties, and though they usually comply, the value of having a product shown without any identification is not convincingly high, unless its shape or some characteristic is so outstanding that few can fail to recognize it. To go overboard in an attempt to get one's products on 138 Publicity for Prestige and Profit the air is a temptation. However, the publicity man should consider whether his product really belongs there, and whether, if shown, it will not obtrude and thus take away from the enjoyment of the television viewer. He should ask himself in advance, How many really favorable impacts will this showing make? Not to discount enthusiasm, it can lead one astray if not balanced by a sense of proper placement as well as timing. PERSONALITIES People, not products, are the soundest basis for publicity on the air. The company benefits, even if the person is not shown or heard in connection with his job, though that is preferable. Few plants have not a glee club, an athlete of prowess, an amateur performer, or a local civic leader on the payroll. It is the publicity man's chore to seek out talent, to place it, and to reap for the company a maximum benefit. The advantage of this type of publicity is its human quality. Identification with the company carries the overtone that this must be a pleasant and interesting place to work, since it has attracted people of such talent. Participation with national, state, or local groups, in philanthropic and civic-betterment drives, support of educational, religious, and patriotic projects, widens the opportunities for legitimate identification of the company. Professional and trade activities of company personnel open still another field for personal appearances. Discovery that an official or employee is an authority on a subject makes him or her a good subject for interview or demonstration. The publicity man, by introducing the program director Television and Radio 139 to an entirely new source of talent of one sort or another, has given good service. It is on such willingness to find live talent that the publicity worker builds acceptance for those com- pany participations that mean much in his own work; if he has proved helpful in revealing fresh talent, the program director will strain a point in his favor when it is a favor he needs. POLICIES Company standing can be greatly enhanced by the ap- pearance of its spokesman on serious radio or television pro- grams. This is where the panel, the forum, the address, and the interview on business and social matters can be used to advantage. Individual reputation will be built in the public mind, to be sure; and this reflects credit on the company. At times company policies, well defined, can be made the sub- ject of appearances on the air. A word of caution: Do not put a poor speaker, or one who does not "look the part" on the air, no matter what his po- sition in the company. A stumbling delivery, too frequent reference to notes, a grim air, or a bored appearance can ruin the effect. In some cases it is advisable to keep the usual company spokesman under wraps, if he honestly will not make a good public impression. This may be a hard pill for the publicity man to take. In his company's interest, he should be as objective and realistic as possible, seeking the advice, perhaps, of radio and television executives. Rarely will the risk of making a wrong impression appear too great to accept, but if this circumstance does arise, it had better be faced in advance. 140 Publicity for Prestige and Profit SYNDICATED MATERIAL There is another branch of radio and television publicity, extremely beneficial, but demanding extensive and care- ful planning. This is the preparation and distribution of brief program parts that can be fitted in by radio "colum- nists," especially on food and household programs. A script may be written or the program part may be read by a radio professional into a microphone for recording on a tape or phonograph disk— in radio parlance, a platter. Such material as recipes, household hints, proper use of appliances, etc., go into this service. It is not advisable merely to make up one program part. If syndication is to be attempted, it should be on a regular and dependable basis. Publicity scripts, tapes, and platters are used as "fill-ins" by the radio columnist. One excerpt (not over two minutes) may be read or played one day, another bit on another oc- casion. The material is valued by the busy radio columnist as background. Obvious product "plugs" cannot be used, and only one mention of the company or trade association sending out the material should be made in any one part intended for broadcasting. A sample batch of broadcast material should be prepared, from six to ten individual parts. This may be mailed to the radio columnists in the territory to be covered, into whose programs it will logically fit. With the sample a return post card should be enclosed, with a form for requesting the service. Subsequent samplings may be made at three-month intervals, but the service should not be started to any pro- gram not requesting it. A regular transcribed feature program, if superbly done, Television and Radio 141 also proves acceptable to many radio stations. "Adventures in Research," produced by Westinghouse Electric Corpora- tion, was distributed to 128 stations in forty-six states, with- out charge for station time. No "commercials" were used, of course, but the company was identified in each of the tran- scriptions. The length of such transcriptions can be anything from three to fourteen minutes. chapter 11 Publicity on the Screen Publicity films made for industries reach people mainly in three environments: 1. At home, through television. 2. In motion-picture theaters. 3. At group meetings ( schools, clubs, etc. ) . To meet competition for the public's eyes and ears, films from industry require superb quality, which, however, need not be expensive. People pay to see timely newsreels and the entertainment output of Hollywood. Thousands of other new motion pictures, as well as slides and filmstrips, are distributed yearly, either free or at very low cost per show- ing. Some are commercially made and sold as educational materials, supplementing book and lecture. Others, con- taining a message underlying their entertainment value, are sponsored by industries, agencies of our own and other governments, and educational, civic, or philanthropic or- ganizations. Many films are used by industrial companies for purposes more or less differing from that of publicity, such as em- ployee training, sales promotion, and advertising to dealers and customers. There is some overlapping; a picture made primarily for one use often does secondary services in an- other field— a film on safety, for example. And parts of a movie can sometimes be lifted from one reel and fitted into 142 Publicity on the Screen 143 another, such as a sequence showing an interesting process or research project. However related to or dependent on other films produced for the same company, the publicity film works toward the same primary purpose as all other publicity media— to cast a favorable light on the company as an institution. It is not for direct sales promotion, for recruiting or instructing em- ployees, raising the value of the company's stock, or con- vincing the owners of the efficiency of management. True, any or all of these praiseworthy objectives may be served by publicity, on the screen as elsewhere. But no matter what phase of company activity is depicted, the underlying institutional character should be demonstrated or implied, in order to gain a broad base of public acceptance and avoid resentment against too much commercialism. MOVIES ON TELEVISION Hundreds of publicity movies from industry, adapted to the special timing requirements of television and usually with a sound script written for the purpose, are used by tele- vision stations and networks. A story on film is often pre- ferred to a "live" show on an industrial subject because it makes for smooth continuity, inclusion of many scenes, many camera angles, many participants; and sequences can be taken at various times. A motion picture for television produced by an industrial association is likely to be favored over one from an indi- vidual company because it carries less advertising connota- tion. Several companies may contribute scenes to such a production, and while there is no individual company identi- fication, all members of the industry benefit. 144 Publicity for Prestige and Profit The steel industry, for example, related the story of the restoration of the country's first productive blast furnace at Saugus, Mass., on color film for educational and other non- theatrical showings. A black-and-white version of the same motion picture, approximately fourteen minutes in length, edited expressly for television audiences, was supplied to stations in many cities. Such films are cordially received because they possess innate educational and historical value, display an entire industry in a favorable light, and serve the public interest. To maintain their franchise from the government, both radio and television stations are required to use a certain amount of material of a public-service character. When an industry is sufficiently farseeing to band together and hand the stations fresh, professionally prepared programs, the reception is usually enthusiastic. Films of research-laboratory activities likewise are wel- comed, and for local station use it is usually better to offer a television story of a company or community project on film rather than to ask "live" coverage, which can be ex- pensive. A typical all-industry series is Industry on Parade, pro- duced each week by the National Association of Manu- facturers, which selects from four to five companies per program, taking from each a sequence that reveals a signifi- cant contribution to American life. On one such program a New Jersey manufacturer with fifty employees found him- self in company with General Motors. The institutional mes- sage of his story was the development of a small business enterprise, while that of the giant corporation was based on its ability to convert a large plant to war production almost overnight. The series is given to television stations Publicity on the Screen 145 without charge and is presented each week by them as a public-service feature. In television's early years a great deal of poor-quality film from industrial and other sources was screened. This phase has passed, however. Though television scouts still are on the lookout for industrial subjects on film, high profes- sional quality is now demanded. NEWSREELS The average length of a newsreel destined to be shown in motion-picture theaters is a little less than eight minutes, or about 700 feet of 35-mm film. From five to eleven sub- jects are included, from 50 to 350 feet, or thirty seconds to three minutes each. Two newsreels are released per week by the five national producers, Warner Pathe, Fox, Universal, MGM, and Paramount, all with studios in New York, and with facilities so flexible that picture sequences can be taken, processed, and put into the current newsreel within two days, no matter where the scene of action is located. Though he may be tense, high-strung, always on the qui vive, and apt to demand of others the quick pace of his own business, the typical newsreel editor is more satisfactory to deal with than most others. He knows what he wants, moves fast to get it, and plays fair with publicity people. By fol- lowing these simple steps, the publicist with an appealing subject can multiply his chances of getting it used: 1. Send a copy of the news release prepared for news- papers on the same subject, well in advance— from a week to ten days, but never more than a month. 2. Send a letter with the release, giving any further back- 146 Publicity for Prestige and Profit ground that will help the editor to decide in its favor. Cover in addition the following specific details: a. What kind of lighting facilities are available, if any. Adequate power lines are important. If only direct current can be supplied, do not omit that fact. b. Describe sound conditions at the scene. State whether extraneous sounds, such as factory noises, can be stilled while the sequence is being taken. Do not promise anything you cannot deliver. c. If the background scene is exceptional or hard to visual- ize, include a still picture of it with your letter. Indicate whether extra facilities will be needed, and whether you can supply them, for placing cameras; e.g., erection of platforms or towers. d. Estimate the number of persons to appear in the pic- ture. e. Unless you are experienced in movie work, do not sub- mit a shooting script or time schedule or any other technical details. In any case, do not write a sound-track script for a narrator. /. Give explicit directions for reaching the location, prefer- ably bus, train, or plane schedules if it is out of the way. One newsreel crew lost thirty-six hours in the Ozarks— and the industrial publicity man lost his picture, despite considerable expense. g. If you are prepared to pay travel expense of a camera crew, say so. If the location is far from New York, a corre- spondent camera crew from another city will cover the event. The offer to pay or share expenses is usually not necessary, except to isolated locations. It helps the chances but cannot guarantee acceptance. Publicity on the Screen 147 h. Do not ask the editor to promise to use your subject because you are going to trouble and expense for him. Your story is competing with about fifty others, of which not more than eleven will be chosen. The editor cannot and will not make foolish promises. (Neither should you.) Except on a disaster story, do not telephone or call in person instead of writing. There is just no time to talk to you. If you are under time pressure yourself, telegraph, but be sure to cover in the telegram all the details specified above, and follow with confirming letter. Newsreels, released to theaters twice a week, are made up on Mondays and Thursdays. It is not the practice for one newsreel company to shoot a picture for all, except under war conditions. Competition is lively, and the editor ex- pects an exclusive. If you make arrangements with one, and his camera crew arrives on the scene only to see competing crews, without prior notification, the likelihood is that all will walk off the location without shooting the picture. Some news events planned by publicity men do warrant coverage by all, but none ever warrants deception. It is preferable, when feasible, to stage an event specifi- cally for the newsreel, even though this means a repetition or preview of a presentation to still cameramen, writers, tele- vision, or radio. If the event is being covered by television, the newsreel editor should know this in advance. It prob- ably will not kill off his interest, but he is entitled to fair play. An old film, shot by an amateur, which a company official thinks would make a dandy newsreel is not cordially received because these films so often are made on the wrong size of film, at silent rather than sound speed, and almost invariably 148 Publicity for Prestige and Profit have some technical flaws. Besides, just to inspect them takes up valuable time. The newsreel would rather shoot the subject over again if it has merit. Now for the exception. If you can hire facilities, including a professional camera crew, and have some savvy about newsreel needs, you may gamble on covering an event with 35-mm film, which may be sent to the newsreel office, by advance arrangement. Two outstanding successes in this type of placement were made by Hamilton Wright, a special- ist in public-relations uses of motion pictures. They were the inauguration of the first governor of Puerto Rico and the Calgary Stampede. Newsreel editors make many publicity men happy be- cause they have no particular objection to identifying products. A sequence on a waterproofing material for fabrics, called Aquapruf, mentioned the trade-mark name. But the obvious press-agent gag is difficult to place with the news- reels, e.g., a sequence showing an elephant standing on a plate of glass, and another of a horse at a book auction. If newsreel editors have a weakness for one type of pub- licity subject, it is fashions. In submitting fashion ideas, it is worth while to send along still pictures, preferably in color, of models wearing the garments to be shown. Though it is not likely that the sight of the company president read- ing his annual report to the stockholders will make a news- reel, it has been done, at a tumultuous assembly attended by prominent people, plus plenty of action. Do not count on it for your company. On the other hand, a new invention has an excellent chance, if it is at all pictorial. Often a small-scale model, which can be taken to the newsreel studio, by prior arrange- Publicity on the Screen 149 ment, is even better, for it can be taken apart, reassembled, given controlled-lighting treatment, etc., all of which in- trigues the camera crew and may even merit a hasty glance by the editor himself. But do not walk in unannounced with a model, even a live one. THEATRICAL MOVIES In the late 1940s the motion-picture industry began to co- operate with other commercial and industrial interests as never before. A typically colossal movie, Weekend at the Waldorf, tested out a question that had remained unre- solved since the days of The Perils of Pauline; to wit, would people pay money at the box office to see films that were friendly to business? If this movie had been taken twenty years earlier, it would have been thought necessary to call it Weekend at the Dorf- wald, or in some other way seek to camouflage the fact that a famous New York hotel was the locale. The fact that the hotel would benefit from the publicity would once have de- terred honest identification. By its enthusiastic public re- ception, Weekend at the Waldorf provided one symptom of a trend in the changing movie industry that has important implications for publicity men. Hollywood has not as yet quite solved the problems raised by its lusty competitor-ally, television. With television's de- pendence on films for both entertainment and public-service programs, legitimate opportunities for business publicity reaching both into homes and theaters are likely to multiply. At present, publicity for industrial companies in theatrical screen productions is largely confined to settings and stage properties. Agencies in Hollywood undertake to place a cer- 150 Publicity for Prestige and Profit tain brand of refrigerator, automobile, etc., in the setting for a movie, and for this service the company pays a fee. This is similar to the kind of tie-up an individual company pub- licity man sometimes can make with a television program. It is of minor consequence under ordinary circumstances. It would be a mistake, however, to write off future possibilities. Hollywood learned much about cooperation during World War II, when the military and other government branches inspired much movie production and in turn lent facilities and personnel on a lavish scale. With the pendulum of pop- ular favor swinging toward business enterprise, the movie industry is bound to feel this new and strong influence. If participation is not overdone or abused, there will probably be increasing disposition to work with publicity people from industry. INSTITUTIONAL PUBLICITY MOVIES Bear in mind that a publicity movie should have as its general purpose to cast a favorable light on the company as an institution. This abstract idea needs to be translated into specific terms. Some possibilities: The "How" Picture In straightaway documentary style it relates plant, proc- esses, production, etc., to the finished product, such as a pair of shoes, a bridge, a newspaper, an airplane. The story starts at A and ends at Z, packs a tremendous amount of in- formation into small space, and leaves the viewer impressed by the skill, ingenuity, and enterprise required to turn out the product. This kind of film has great vogue in grade schools and possesses secondary usefulness for nontheatrical Publicity on the Screen 151 adult audiences as a sales-promotion medium. Its adult dis- tribution may often be undertaken by a company's own dis- tributors and dealers, for the latter purpose. The Science Picture This variant on the "how" picture stresses research, taking the audience into laboratory and field locations, frequently using animation, photomicography, etc. Its base is broader that the company's own activities. For example, a film about plastics, slanted to science, would review the development of man-made plastics, narrow down to those produced by the company, and finally stress the particular research project, a new plastics development, which is the kernel of the pub- licity message. The science picture ranges more broadly than the "how" picture, reaching up to college level scholastically, recruiting audiences with some business or technical interest in plastics, and penetrating into general programs of such adult groups as women's and service clubs, lodges, and societies. Distri- bution can be made through film libraries of scientific organi- zations and through audiovisual centers and by direct con- tact. The All-company Picture This type attempts to carry the full institutional message in one package. Its skeleton structure parallels that of the or- ganization itself, with sequences of general management, purchasing, production, personnel, marketing, and industrial and community relations. Despite its broad theme, it is not aimed at an audience as broad as the first two categories, for it demands an interest in advance in this particular company. 152 Publicity for Prestige and Profit However, for a company with a single line of products, a well-defined audience area, and an evident public curiosity about the company, it can be extremely effective. The Sociological Picture As a rule, this kind of picture takes one aspect of a business and shows the company's relationship to other organizations and to the public from this single point of view. The pur- chasing department of a large food packer, for example, brought out convincingly its contribution to the livelihood of thousands of persons who had no obvious connection with the plant. They were toilers in far-off lands, transportation workers, farmers, miners, officials in various government branches. By using the newsreel techniques, these diverse elements were shown as contributing to and being econom- ically sustained by an institution that was doing a good job. Another company's publicity department chose the institu- tion's place in the community as its theme; another depicted the lives of company workers in all their in-company and outside activities. Large companies go further, taking the ambitious doctrine of "the American way" as their general topic and relating the company's business to it. Movies of this particular philosophy need the most expert guidance in order not to veer into political preachments which might make enemies as well as friends. More typically, a group or a business-sponsored foundation will undertake the free-enterprise theme. It can lead to unexpected acclaim. A series of movie cartoons spon- sored by Harding College and financed by a friendly founda- tion was of such quality that a national booking agency controlling several thousand theaters bought rights to show Publicity on the Screen 153 these films to audiences which paid for the privilege. This was one institutional publicity movie that outran its original purpose and reached a tremendous audience, because of its timeliness and excellence of production. WORKING WITH THE PRODUCER Several large Hollywood studios have commercial branches that make publicity and other movies for industry. In most large cities there are specialists in this type of motion picture. The cost of making an effective publicity movie ranges from under $5,000 to over $250,000, depending on length, scope, cast, and type of audience sought. Top sums can be wisely spent. They are not necessarily extravagant. Compe- tition for this business is strong, and for that reason bids made by a number of producers given the same specifications usually fall within range of each other. A variation of 10 to 15 per cent is not significant. Before a specific producer is even considered, however, decisions on certain questions should be made. These in- clude: Is publicity the main or a secondary purpose? What type of audience are you most interested in? In what specific area is this audience located? Should the movie be made for television and adapted for other audiences, or vice versa? Should the movie deal with the company as a whole or with one aspect? Whether the producer selected is large or small, located nearby or across the country, is not so important as it may seem. The same routine investigation of his reliability, bank- ing and credit references, etc., should be made as with any 154 Publicity for Prestige and Profit other service offered for sale. The best and simplest test is to view samples of previous films of similar nature made by the producer. It is quite in order to inquire of those who bought the films as to their experience. Make sure not only as to previous work of the organization, but as to that of the script-writer and the director. The cameraman is equally important, but with justification differ- ent camera crews often are used on parts of the same movie. As Henry Clay Gipson says in his book Films in Business and Industry, "Film production ... is an even more highly personalized activity than advertising, although the selection of a producer and of an advertising agency have much in common." It is essential to keep in close contact with the producer through every phase of the motion picture. After a contract is signed, conferences should be held with him and the script- writer before a word is written. The first step is to give the producer a written statement of the film's objectives. Then he and the script-writer should be indoctrinated into company policies affecting the film and shown as much of the plant as is feasible. There may be a temptation to limit such plant visits to those parts the management think pic- torial or significant. The film writer, like any writer, will do better work if he is permitted wide scope, for nobody can tell in advance where he will pick up the idea that will lift the film out of the ordinary. A "treatment," or description of the film theme as the producer understands it, will be submitted. This is subject to management review and necessary changes. Then the producer will come up with a visualization, describing in picture terms how the treatment will be applied. Publicity on the Screen 155 VISUAL TREATMENT This is a point of divergence into one of three classes of film treatment: factual, semifictional, and fictional. All three are successfully used. Even a factual treatment needs a thread of continuity. This is partially supplied by the sound track on which a narrator's voice describes various operations in turn. It would be helped by having, say, a party of visitors being escorted through the plant, so that the same persons are seen in various places. By this simple device the audience "joins" the party without realizing it. An excellent semifictional treatment was given to a seem- ingly "cold" subject, Build with Steel, produced for the American Institute of Steel Construction. The narrator, seen throughout, is a building contractor, and it is his voice that is heard on the sound track. A second character, his son, appears in the various scenes also. The semifictional quality is given by having the father tell, via sound, of his ambition to have his son follow him in the business. A remarkably warm and human effect was given, without obtruding on the main subject, the advantages of the use of steel in con- struction. The Middleton Family at the World's Fair, an all-out fictional concoction, complete with dialogue and sound ef- fects, called for a professional cast, elaborate lighting, and all the finest techniques of the grand-scale entertainment movie. It was produced for Westinghouse Electric, much of the action taking place in and around that company's fair exhibit in New York. The fictional treatment is bound to be more expensive than the others; the semifictional adds little expense and, except 156 Publicity for Prestige and Profit for strictly classroom purposes, is far more effective as a rule than the straight factual narrative. THE SCRIPT A "shooting script," outlining the story of the film in a series of picture sequences, is written by the script-writer, often in collaboration with the company publicity man. A sound script, giving the words of the narration or dialogue for various scenes and indicating sound effects or music where needed, accompanies the working script. Both are sub- ject to revision, emendation, and minor changes as the mak- ing of the picture progresses. Considerable leeway should be given to both script-writer and producer, whose professional training is expected to equip them with better judgment as to how to get the effects wanted than company people are likely to have. Many a publicity movie has been robbed of outstanding effectiveness by too much interference. Ability to judge what a picture will look like from the verbal description is rare. It is advis- able to show the script to only a few top-echelon company people, authorized to make decisions on it. Any obvious errors not caught by the publicity staff during the course of production can readily be corrected before a final O.K. is given to the picture. TECHNICAL ADVISER A member of the publicity staff should act as technical adviser during the film's production. He is the company representative assigned temporarily to the producer's staff, usually on a part-time basis. His duty is to make sure that Publicity on the Screen 157 company policy is not violated; no militarily classified areas are to be shown; processes that are secret or involved in patent disputes should not come under the camera's eye, even for atmosphere; workmen in practice often violate safety and other rules. The technical adviser is on the look- out for such instances, to prevent film wastage; the same vigilance as is shown in making still photographs is impor- tant here, including cleanliness, models who look the part, etc. The technical adviser also will view the "rushes," sections of the film developed and printed from day to day. These should be inspected currently, in case retakes of sequences are needed. When the film has been edited, a complete "working print" should be viewed only by the company officials in charge of the project, including if possible the president or chairman. The narration may be read at this showing, and detailed comments received. They may be taken down on a tape recorder, that great settler of arguments as to what was and was not said in any conference. Following the viewing of the working print, a semifinal print should be given a final run-through for the publicity staff. Often it is advisable to include at this showing an audience of superintendents and others involved in making the film. It not only pleases them to be in on a preview, but prevents unpleasant surprises later. Any serious objection from this audience should be given proper weight, and cor- rections deemed essential made. Once final O.K.'s have been given, the movie is ready for printing in quantity and for distribution. 158 Publicity for Prestige and Profit FILMSTRIPS AND SLIDES At a fraction of the cost of a motion picture, publicity stories of any range can be told through the modern magic lantern, the slide and filmstrip projector. It uses the same 35-mm film, can be handled with or without sound, and projects an image of suitable size for an auditorium seating up to 600. The filmstrip is a strip of film containing a succession of frames, just like a movie film. The projector is operated manually, one picture being shown at a time, without motion. Educators and lecturers tend to prefer the filmstrip over the motion picture, because it enables them to pause at any point, either for questioning or for further discussion or ex- planation. Thus a 60-frame filmstrip, which could be viewed in ten minutes, may be sufficient to hold interest for three or four times as long. Most filmstrips are now made in full color, as the differ- ence in cost over black and white is small. Projectors repre- sent a minor investment; most school systems and many libraries and meeting halls are equipped with them. Though the filmstrip obviously carries less excitement than the movie, it is more versatile in some ways. For example, an industrial story laid partly in the seventeenth century and partly in the present was related on filmstrip by combining a series of water-color pictures of historical scenes and per- sons with color photographs taken in modern factories and at open-air sites. By skillful color treatment of the art work, there was no sense of abrupt change from one to the other. With the filmstrip goes a manual. One excellent method is to use photo-offset reproductions of the frames, with fuller Publicity on the Screen 159 explanation of captions, suggested questions, and discussion topics. This small booklet is a teaching and lecture aid, serv- ing to widen and deepen the interest of the audience in the topic. Because of the phenomenal growth in popularity of the filmstrip in the 1950s, particularly among audiovisual direc- tors of school systems, several of the largest industrial com- panies now budget more of these than of motion pictures for publicity purposes. One of these companies, checking on results, reported that the filmstrip was shown to more but on the whole somewhat smaller audiences than a comparable movie. The explanation given was that filmstrips cost from only a dollar or so per print and thus usually are a permanent donation, rather than a loan, as in the case of a movie. This permits their use by one organization for months or years. A very few shipments of a movie reel proved actually more expensive than the cost of a filmstrip print, including postage. A series of individual slides, each containing one picture, is a tried and true alternative. Since the film is bound be- tween 2- by 2-inch glass plates, a hand-labor operation, the cost of a slide series is considerably higher than that of a comparable filmstrip. However, for lecture use it has the great advantage of flexibility. To cut and splice a movie film requires expert hands and eyes, while with a filmstrip it is impractical. The slide series, however, can be changed around at will, new slides included, obsolete ones dropped out. Modern slide projectors handle the pictures semi- automatically, so that slides are the least awkward of all materials for screening. Large organizations which conduct educational or plant- community programs requiring regular service of filmstrips 160 Publicity for Prestige and Profit use the same pictures for slides purposes, for the convenience of the users. As a rule, executives, engineers, and scientists who participate in the activities of a company speakers' bureau tend to prefer the slide to either the movie or the filmstrip— perhaps because it is the direct descendant of the magic lantern of their boyhood and can be handled so easily. DISTRIBUTING SCREEN MATERIALS To set up a distribution system within a company for movies, fllmstrips, and slides is an elaborate and expensive process. Combining the distribution of publicity films with that of films intended to boost sales, recruit employees, or pursue some other main objective may provide a partial answer in a large company but is never quite satisfactory. Facilities already available should be used, of course, but they should be supplemented by the publicity department's own efforts to find audiences not reachable through company channels. For example, a manufacturer with fifty distributors located strategically throughout the country may have accustomed them to routines of the mechanical handling of company sales films. They can be used as depots for publicity films as well. But to expect the distributor, whose job is to move goods, to bother making arrangements for showing a re- search or all-company institutional film to the Rotary Clubs in his territory is an imposition. He likewise has no usual reason for calling on the audiovisual director of the schools, who will be far from naive about films, and not exactly overwhelmed at the proffer of a free one. The alternative, to which the largest companies turn after experience in making their own distribution, is to hire it Publicity on the Screen 161 done. Selection of a good distribution agency is not so diffi- cult as that of naming a producer, but it does call for the same careful investigation of his credit, repute, and evidence of good results with the same kind of film. This is important. An agency with integrity will not accept for distribution a film of inferior quality, because it has the good will of its own market to maintain. Nor will it blanket the high schools of a nation just because the sponsor is willing to pay for as many films as needed. Perhaps less than a score of agencies really know the ins and outs of distributing publicity films to school audiences, to farm organizations, to labor unions, to foreign groups. These are highly specialized fields, and to reach them and bring back good will demands skill and experience. Some producers of industrial films also act as distributing agents; others work in close alliance with such agencies. The fact that a distribution agency has sent out many films is no proof of their reception. That proof, which should be very carefully scrutinized and checked upon, is the only sound basis for choice of a distributor. When the movie, filmstrip, or slide series is for distribution in a fairly limited area; when the type of audience is special- ized, as for example engineering or technical societies; or when it is suitable for distribution through the 200 film li- braries and film centers conducted by libraries, colleges, foundations, government agencies, and a few trade associa- tions—then the manufacturer may handle the distribution of prints without recourse to a professional distribution agency. The latter course, however, lifts a burden from the sponsor and is usually well worth the standard estimated cost of 1 cent per viewer. 162 Publicity for Prestige and Profit PUBLICITY AND EXPLOITATION Working either through a distributor of films or inde- pendently, the manufacturer will find reception by organ- izations equally cordial, with a few qualifying ho we vers. To reach farm groups, endorsement by farm-organization leaders is helpful. To persuade educators to take a film offer seriously, approval is needed from recognized audiovisual authorities. Labor unions will be more receptive if a union official of prominence has given the film his blessing. Most groups are besieged with offers of free films; they are no longer a novelty. Thus the first step in exploitation of a new one is to get the sanction of national-organization heads, their pub- licity departments, or film reviewing boards. The extent to which posters, advertising copy and mats, and other promotional devices are furnished depends on the budget, the audience, and the occasion. It is advisable not to go overboard on such material for publicity films. Much more important is the distribution to the audience of a single piece of tastefully prepared company literature. This may be a leaflet based on the film, a utilization booklet on the filmstrip, a brochure about the company in general— not plugging products— or in some cases a straight advertis- ing take-home novelty like a ruler or a tie clasp. The effective way to keep memory of the film alive in the minds of an audience is to give them something to take home, a permanent reminder of which company's picture they saw. Even the best screen material fades from the mind rather rapidly. It is probably better to cut the number of audiences by one-fourth, if budget demands it, in order to supply for all viewers some kind of reminder. Publicity on the Screen 163 Publicity for the film should be written in advance. Still pictures may accompany it, but probably will be wasted. The release accompanying the film should be not more than one page of typescript, should follow the practice in prepar- ing releases (see Chapter 7), and usually should be dis- tributed to local press and radio stations by the local organ- ization under whose auspices the film is to be shown. For school classroom or other closed meetings, this advance pub- licity should not be sent. In plant cities, kind reviewers on the newspapers may be willing to see a preview of the film and say something nice about it, in advance of its first showing in the community. This is worth trying. Bulletins or other publications of the local organization showing the film will welcome the release, and so will the publication of the local chamber of commerce. If the distributing agency offers to prepare publicity on the film, this should at least be submitted to the company's publicity department, to ensure that the writing and physical format are up to company standards. It is preferable for the staff publicity man to spare time to perform this small but not unimportant chore himself, to assure getting the com- pany's own slant into the publicity copy. chapter 12 Pamphlets, Brochures, and Manuals In growing volume, business organizations are turning to the "casual" publication as a publicity vehicle. The term casual means merely that these types of company literature do not appear at regular intervals; but there should be nothing acci- dental or lackadaisical about them. On the contrary, a pro- gram, planned and budgeted, will enable the publicity man to fit small-size publications into his activity schedule much more effectively than if he is required to accommodate those that arise from a sudden bright idea, which may interrupt or interfere with other projects. The sound reason for the pamphlet— and we shall use this term to include various formats of brochures, booklets, man- uals, guides, and printed background memoranda— is that it enables the company to tell part of its story in more or less permanent form, using its own words, and text and illustra- tion to produce the precise effect wanted. In this regard it resembles the company book (Chapter 5) and the company movie or filmstrip (Chapter 11) but differs from publicity in which the final form is governed by outsiders, such as that in newspapers and magazines and on the air. The publicity pamphlet also differs from other company literature akin to it in physical form, but directly promoting sales to dealers or consumers. 164 Pamphlets, Brochures, and Manuals 165 Every publicity pamphlet should be directed toward read- ership by one or more specific groups. The more specialized this group, the deeper will be the pamphlet's penetration, but obviously specialization will limit its circulation. Com- promises have to be made both ways. At the start most companies envision merely one pamphlet, which will tell all to everybody that can be interested. This "shotgun" ap- proach has distinct merits, particularly in a company new to publicity. As a rule, it leads to a later series of "rifle" pam- phlets aimed at more exact targets, selecting a narrower range of topics, and greatly enlarging the amount of informa- tion treated within this smaller scope. THE ALL-GROUP APPROACH A "facts pamphlet," giving essential information about a company, is a great convenience in handling the flow of re- quests from such groups as the following: Agricultural leaders. Banks and brokers. Business and professional men. Chambers of commerce. Civic leaders. Community organizations. Customers and suppliers. Editors and writers. Employees, present and prospective. Government officials. Labor unions. Lecturers and ministers. Publishers. Teachers and students. 166 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Technical societies. Shareholders and investors. Trade associations. Statisticians and analysts. Welfare agencies. Women's organizations. To deliver a pamphlet that will answer the needs of these diverse groups and others usually compels the publicity man who prepares it to digest enough material to fill a thick book. But he must produce a thin one. So he boils, cuts, trims, eliminates much that would be of interest to individual groups but not to all. With both text and pictures, he hits only the high spots of the company story. In the process of editing, though, he learns to find the vital core in each main phase of the company's activities and to express this suc- cinctly yet not cryptically. This takes some doing. No workable formula for such a book can be laid down, because in addition to condensing the material he must give proper but not always equal emphasis to every aspect of the business touched upon. It is this weighing of relative im- portance of subject matter and context that makes the pam- phlet suitable for his company and no other. As a very general guide, the following elements are usually essential: Historical. When the company was started and by whom. If appropriate, mention of predecessor companies. Growth of the organization. Present Organization. Ownership, management, location of headquarters, main plant, and branches, possibly includ- ing warehouses and sales offices. Size. Expressed in dollar sales volume, number of units Pamphlets, Brochures, and Manuals 167 produced, number of employees, or some other disclosable figure. If no indication of size is given, a flow of requests from disappointed readers is to be expected. Products. What the company makes, and how. Research. If any. Market. Who the customers are, in general terms. If non- consumer items are made, their further uses should be ex- plained to the point of ultimate consumption. Employees. The kinds of workers, what they do, and how the company treats them— pay, pensions, profit sharing, wel- fare benefits, educational, training, and recreational pro- grams. Community. The company's assumption of civic, economic, and social responsibilities in communities, industry affairs, and nationally. WRITING THE FACTS PAMPHLET Most but not all managements are wise enough to recog- nize the need for professional writing skill in a publicity medium so intimate and so filled with prestige potential as a facts pamphlet. Oftentimes industrial relations, legal, and even controllers' talents are expended on this task, until it is turned over, alas! to the advertising agency for production. This is seldom good. The editorial rather than the advertis- ing approach is wanted. First-rate advertising agencies un- derstand this, and engage a competent business writer or turn over the job to a public relations counselor who has the publicity approach. Thus the project may travel by a cir- cuitous route to a writer who presumably has the reportorial sense required to see the unusual and attractive and to describe it in terms acceptable to the proposed readership. 168 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Obviously the job should have been handed at the start to the publicity staff or the company's public relations coun- sel if it has one. Preparation of the manuscript, design of the pamphlet, illustration, printing, and distribution involve technical problems within the publicity man's ken. Lack of time frequently becomes a most valid reason for him to pass on the project to others. One alternative is to handle the research himself, with cooperation from all departments, and call on an outsider for professional help. Under his personal guidance, a qualified writing specialist can approximate the end result the publicity man would have attained. He may even add an element of freshness; his outside point of view may be nearer to that of the reader than is that of the company. The questions to which he seeks answers are likely to be the same ones that occur to those who will receive the pamphlet. However, if the company's own publicity man can spare time for both research and writing, he should attempt it, for the facts pamphlet will give him a thorough acquaintance with a store of information about the company, much of which may never be published but is valuable to his depth of understanding. As a practical first step in research for a facts pamphlet, a letter signed by the president should go to all department heads, advising them of the project and soliciting their coop- eration with the writer. The real digging comes on personal visits by the writer to departments and is not to be had in five minutes. A "bull session" with a group of top men in a department or division, preferably after working hours, will elicit valuable leads. Then they should be asked for specific data. Researching for company facts, seemingly a quick and easy Pamphlets, Brochures, and Manuals 1G9 job, really demands good detective work; for, explain though he may, the writer cannot quite get men to whom his work is foreign to grasp precisely what he is after. Patience, will- ingness to delve into obscure sources, within and without the company, is likely to bring up treasures that top management did not know about. This kind of triumph is the publicity man's reward, and also a sound and sensible reason why he should take on the research task himself if at all feasible. Information should be classified. A handy method is to label a set of ordinary manila file folders by categories, such as historical, financial, and product development, and to place all incoming records and other information in the appropriate folder soon after receipt and first inspection. This bit of mechanical preparation for the writing task saves hours and headaches. The researching process may take from two weeks to a year or more, depending on time sched- ules, volume of work required, and progress in personal in- terviews. For a company more than twenty-five years old, one that has absorbed other organizations, or one with diverse lines of products, at least several months should be allowed. Experience emphasizes one basic admonition. Do not start to write the pamphlet until research is nearly over. False starts are costly of time and energy and have the psycho- logical effect of dampening the writer's fervor. If an outside writer is called in, files need not be completed, for he will find stimulation in the personal contacts in the research; but the bulk of it should be in hand. Preliminary to the actual writing, a one-page memorandum should be prepared, giving the working title of the pamphlet, its purpose, audiences to be reached, estimate of number of 170 Publicity for Prestige and Profit copies needed, tentative specifications of page size, number of pages, and proportion of illustrations to text. Main points to be made, but not details, should be stated. This memo- randum may be shown as a matter of record, to the top official who authorized the project. Its chief value is to the pub- licity man in charge of the project. Unless he has put in writing his original conception of the pamphlet, many di- verse influences will beset his judgment, and he will be in danger of wandering far from target, theme, and treatment. Though changes are inevitable as the project advances, references to the original statement will serve to keep it on the main track. Before a formal outline of contents is at- tempted, the final project should be envisioned and a dummy prepared. It is far simpler and also more effective to write a manuscript with space proportions already decided on than it is to make layouts and dummy fit the text. PACKAGING THE FACTS For final choice of format, design, layout, and art work, talent outside the company should be called on, if the budget will permit. The reason for this is that even versatile art directors working for a single company are likely to come up with an end product that looks like advertising or a technical publication. The same observation applies, though to a lesser degree, to the art department of an advertising agency. An art studio or free-lance designer should be chosen; or if the company engages one of the few public relations agencies large enough to include an art staff, its work should be adequate. Organizations which specialize in public relations production work are also accessible to smaller companies. Pamphlets, Brochures, and Manuals 171 The art director of the pamphlet project will benefit to a considerable extent by reading the text manuscript. What he needs to know is what you are trying to achieve, what points to emphasize visually. He should be given as detailed an outline as possible, should confer at intervals with the writer and the publicity man, and of course should receive a large selection of company photographs. The pictures will be needed even if the pamphlet is to be illustrated only by drawings. Usually both drawings and photographs are used. The more pictures given to the art director the better. Those on a single subject may be marked in order of prefer- ence, and any that are "must" should be so designated. But, to the extent it can be done, the designer of the pamphlet should be left alone with a great many more pictures than he will use— and his imagination. Even more than the writer, he should be led by a light rein; otherwise the pamphlet may look like a dozen others. By handling design the right way with a minimum of inter- ference, outstanding results can be achieved. This point is illustrated by a facts-pamphlet design conceived by M. R. Kaufmann, one of the country's prominent public relations art directors, for the Air Reduction Company. To portray air seemed a baffling assignment, but Kaufmann's treatment, which was in color, proved that nothing is impossible. The drawing, made by Leonard Jossel, depicted a retort set against a background of the sky, on which the symbols of chemical elements contained in the air were superimposed. This tasteful presentation gained a practical result: few will discard such an attractive booklet after reading it. The Air Reduction pamphlet remained as a permanent and prized possession in many offices. 172 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Pictorial pamphlets tell their story even to the hasty reader. An attractive package helps create interest in the facts and ideas it contains. Therefore the visual appearance of the facts pamphlet needs first consideration. Words do not sub- ordinate pictures, but complement them. And this can be done more handily if the pamphlet is first designed and laid out for pictorial effect, and text adjusted to illustrations. (N.B.: A number of competent authorities disagree heartily with this point of view. They are all writers. We yield the point that in a full-length company book the text should get priority. ) A dummy is like a template or a mock-up. It consists of pages cut to proper size and folded together in sequence, on which rough sketches are drawn or photostats of photo- graphs pasted. Titles are roughed in by hand, and spaces where text will go are indicated. Ordinarily type is not set for a dummy, but a page or two often is set for style, if budget allows. The dummy enables the viewer to see about what the finished job will look like. It should always be explained to the uninitiated, however, that the cellophane cover usually put over a dummy to protect it from getting mussed up will not be used in the final product. CLEARANCE AND PRODUCTION By well-established routine the publicity man in charge of a pamphlet project should get all statements cleared by proper company authorities before publication. In the flush of accomplishment this detail sometimes is overlooked, with sad consequences. Clearances should be obtained on manu- scripts and pictures rather than on printed proofs, to save expense. The often advanced idea that not so many changes Pamphlets, Brochures, and Manuals 173 are likely if some company official who is rather fussy doesn't see the pamphlet until the last stages, because of the uni- versal awe of the printed word, has its points in some cases, but certainly is not recommended as a practice. In choosing a printing process and a printer, advice from the purchasing department or designer can be valuable. Let- terpress, offset, and gravure have distinct merits for par- ticular purposes. Governing factors should be the advice of the art director, quality of work on past jobs, dependability of delivery schedule, and price. Two details that may not occur to others should be watched by the publicity man in charge: the paper should be opaque, so that printing on one side does not show through on the other; and the first printing should be as small as distribution demands will permit. It is better to reach only a fraction of the eventual audience at first, in order to benefit from any corrections or valid comments that dictate changes. Enthusiasm on distribution possibilities can lead one astray, especially in view of the lower cost per unit in a large printing order. Despite every precaution, mistakes- typographical, factual, and in expressions that can be mis- interpreted—are a common experience. So be tentative. Try out a small printing on the most responsive section of your final audience, before trying to blanket the market. EDUCATIONAL LITERATURE Of all recipients of printed literature from industry, teachers probably throw away more tonnage per year than any other class. This causes bewilderment to some publicity men, who conclude that it reflects hostility to industry. The contrary is provably true. Closer acquaintance with teacher 174 Publicity for Prestige and Profit attitudes would reveal that materials not requested, which arrive without warning, are difficult to fit into the school curriculum. A course of study is rather rigidly outlined in most states, leaving a limited amount of teacher and pupil time for project work and outside, unprescribed reading. Industrial pamphlets of an institutional nature— not adver- tising and sales-promotion literature— are widely used, but this is usually on a planned basis. Science teachers in particular are receptive to industrial literature. Packets of materials from various industries are distributed through the National Association of Science Teachers. Through the facilities of Science Service, an en- dowed nonprofit organization in Washington, members of 10,000 science clubs in high schools are reached with high- standard informational kits called "Things of Science." A few private agencies serve industrial companies by preparing materials suitable for various grade levels. These services coordinate closely with state, city, and rural school systems, often calling on educators to assist in prepar- ing copy and suggesting ideas for presentation. The mate- rials are not scattered far and wide to unchecked mailing lists. A limited number of copies is sent out for review and appraisal, in the areas to be covered, with an invitation for all interested teachers in the area to send in requests for supplies sufficient for their needs. The professional distributing agency that attempts to main- tain its own prestige with educators delivers the literature in bulk only on request. This conservative practice contrasts with the flood of unasked and often unwanted material thai inundates most school systems and that arouses distaste. When every teacher in a school system, from kindergartei Pamphlets, Brochures, and Manuals 175 to the senior-high-school class, receives a surprise package of "comic books" describing an industry or seeking to persuade children that the American economy is best, the friendliness and good intention of the senders are not fully appreciated by the teachers, who are averse to interrupting classroom work. Some large industrial organizations persist in this "blanket- ing" of school systems, by deliberate policy, believing that a certain percentage of the material is bound to be used. This shortsighted practice is a disservice to the sincere movement on the part of industrial and educational leaders to cooperate more closely than in the past. It is usually due to lack of policy planning on the part of the industrial organization at top level and indicates that the appropriation for a worthy purpose is being misspent by staff helpers working without proper guidance. Test programs on the community level are advisable as a first step, before any large distribution is made. In local and state school systems educators are alert to the problems of distribution and also awake to the benefits to children and teachers that knowledge of present-day industry can bring. They will be only too ready to describe which industrial materials they are now receiving in what they consider the right way and which in the wrong way. It is not necessary to hire an outside distribution agency, but a handful of them offer effective service on a fairly economical basis. INFORMATION MANUALS Increasingly the chore of preparing printed materials for communication within the company is being turned over to publicity staffs and to other public relations people with publicity training. This trend is based on two factors: a con- 176 Publicity for Prestige and Profit ception of employees as part of the public; and the ability of publicity people to express themselves simply and under- standably. Personnel, advertising, and sales-promotion staffs often participate, to the improvement of the manual. An ideal setup is to have a committee in charge, with representa- tion from all these departments. Budgetwise, the personnel or industrial relations department normally governs the appropriation. Employee-information manuals have a common theme, to sell the idea of working for the company to prospective and new employees and their families and to resell it to veteran employees. They also have a common basic content, indi- cated by the following index from The Voice of Crosley, prepared for hourly employees: Attendance, badges, bulletin boards, cafeterias, causes for dis- ciplinary action, cleanup period, collective bargaining, employ- ment, first aid, grievances, group insurance, history of company, holidays, hours of work, leaves of absence, lines of conduct, lost and found, lunch periods, overtime, packages, parking, pay checks, payroll deductions, plant protection, probationary period, promotion, purchase of company products, records, requests for time off, rest periods, rules and regulations, safety and health, seniority, signals, smoking, supervisors, tardiness, telephone calls, termination of employment, time cards, vacations, wage rates and workmen's compensation. [This manual is supplemented by one on insurance and other employee benefits.] The content should not be presented alphabetically, but related topics grouped together. In the Crosley manual, the solid information was made palatable by use of cartoon illus- trations, which gave the pamphlet an air of individuality. It is risky business to follow slavishly either format or con- tent of another company's manual. This important public Pamphlets, Brochures, and Manuals 177 relations medium is one of the most useful means by which management can arouse the interest and loyalty of em- ployees. Writing skill is needed, to hit the right note. The same content can be differently treated for girls on a light assembly line than for men in a steel mill. Some companies produce separate manuals for office and shop employees, a step justi- fied only where many hundreds are included in both cate- gories. The use of loose-leaf manuals, in which new pages can be inserted as rules change, sounds like a good idea, but in practice may become a nuisance. Better to reprint the manual from time to time, and even to give it a complete new dress and fresh editorial treatment. chapter 13 Corporate Journalism Editing company periodicals is a profession by itself, de- manding management, publicity, and journalistic skills. The mimeographed bulletin of office or sales chatter is part of corporate journalism. So is the chain of twenty-three expertly produced weekly newspapers of the Ford Motor Company. And likewise such elegant four-color showpieces, intended to influence the influential, as The Lamp (Standard Oil of New Jersey), and Steelways (American Iron and Steel In- stitute ) . Despite an immense range of form and content, all have similar objectives— to cast a favorable light on the organiza- tion that publishes them. Another common denominator is that they are not sold but distributed free. Industrial rela- tions or sales departments often control policy and budget. The general trend is to recognize corporate journalism as part of public relations, with a special affinity to publicity work. Though publicity people may or may not do the edit- ing, they usually have a finger in the pie. One of their most useful contributions to the success of a company periodical of any sort is to spread its readership beyond the confines of the special group to which it is mainly directed, by getting parts of its contents published elsewhere. The corporate journalist who keeps an eye on that wider 178 Corporate Journalism 179 audience is in good company. Poor Richard's Almanak, begun by Benjamin Franklin in 1732 to promote his printing busi- ness, accomplished its purpose and has been widely quoted ever since. The Franklin Printing Company is still in busi- ness, too. System, originally produced for a manufacturer of filing equipment, was a lineal ancestor of Business Week. Printers' Ink, which now publishes a directory of house magazines, used to be one itself. American industry spends over $100 million a year to produce and distribute more than 10,000 company period- icals. Most are for employees. Other effective ones go to distributors and dealers; customers, present and prospective; or people of influence in religious, civic, and governmental affairs, finance, and the general economy. EDITORIAL PURPOSE The corporate journalist about to launch a periodical, or newly put in charge of an existing one, takes a great step ahead when he puts down on paper the purposes or objec- tives he intends to pursue. This does away with vagueness. If he gains management approval for such a statement, it becomes his charter and constant reference guide. Ten essential services that an employee magazine can per- form for management are given by Merrick Jackson, a highly regarded leader in corporate journalism, as follows: 1. To keep employees informed of company policies, practices and developments. 2. To promote understanding between management and em- ployees, thereby reducing friction and dissension. 3. To let employees know about the economics of the com- pany's business and their role in it. 180 Publicity for Prestige and Profit 4. To aid in bringing together management and employees as a family with mutual interests and aims. 5. To limit the harmfulness of incorrect and misleading state- ments from other sources, and to spike rumors. 6. To encourage greater participation in company programs. 7. To build community regard for the company. 8. To further favorable press relations. 9. To help reduce lost man-hours through accident, illness and indifference. 10. To build a friendly feeling toward the company on the part of parents and wives of employees. In an outline for house periodicals meant for a completely different audience, the customer and prospect, Edward Stern and Company lists these four objectives: 1. Pin-point the prospect. 2. Identify the company which produces the publication. 3. See or speak to the man the salesman meets. 4. Speak to the man the salesman cannot see. On the masthead of Steelways, a bimonthly publication sent to men and women in public and community life, this fourfold purpose is stated: 1. To foster a better understanding of the steel industry. 2. To interpret the industry's practices and problems and to report its technical progress. 3. To describe the role of steel in our social and economic life. 4. To add strength and conviction to the American way of competitive enterprise. Succinctly the Rouge News of the Ford Motor Company expresses its purpose: "To all men and women of the Rouge plant, as a service to keep them informed on company policies, plans and activities." Corporate Journalism 181 CHARACTER OF THE PERIODICAL In addition to a central purpose, every periodical gains a character, a special flavor, or look, by which it is recognized as a familiar friend. The title helps to establish this impres- sion; so does the fact that the periodical is the same size every time. The front page or cover changes with each issue but still is recognizable. The reader may not know why, but the editor does. He uses type faces of the same general "family." He does not choose headlines in one issue set in a Cheltenham or Garamond face, in the next switch to sans- serifs such as Futura or Kabel, and then in the third go quaint with DeVinne or Cloister Text. Certainly few readers will recall the type treatment consciously, but they will be irritated if it is not consistent. Nor does the good editor go on a type spree in a single issue, with hand-set script head- lines battling with Girder, or Caslon bold bludgeoning its way for attention alongside a delicate Metro. To trust to the printers judgment is unfair to most printers. This statement demands explanation, for printers, it is well known, make a daily practice of saving editors' skins in all branches of the graphic arts. Printers obviously know a great deal about type faces. The difficulty is that in their varied jobs, including advertising for all sort of printed media, they may be tempted to use a face, much praised when employed for one purpose, in a periodical intended for a totally differ- ent effect. It is the editor's, not the printer's responsibility, to choose appropriate types. Many large printing establishments do have designers adept in layout of publications, and these skillful specialists come up with fine results. A professional 182 Publicity for Prestige and Profit designer, whether or not connected with a printing house, should be consulted before the first issue is made up or any radical change in the character of the periodical carried out. Front Page Other elements besides title and typographical treatment go into making the individual character of the periodical. The first look at a pretty girl is what starts something, and so it should be with the publication. The reader should want to get better acquainted. If the newspaper format is used, an attractive front page will command interest. Bull's-eye decorations, headlines that splash all over the page, and jarring use of color get attention, but that only means shock, not attractiveness. A page crowded with little stories and bristling with headlines offers nothing substantial. At the other extreme, expanses of gray-looking body type warn that the paper is wordy. How, then, strike a balance? Here is a practical tip: come close to the make-up of the front page of the paper most of your readers like best. Do not slavishly follow the daily paper, tone yours down a bit in comparison, but by and large adapt your fare to the familiar and palatable recipe the daily offers. For example: If the local daily carries a capsule of in- formation in the boxes alongside the name of the paper, do something similar. If it usually runs a picture or two on Page One, follow suit. If there is a column of comment, broken up into many small paragraphs without separate headings, that is a good cue. If space at the bottom of the page often is given over to a feature story with a two- or three-column head, that's a good place for your features. You need not Corporate Journalism 183 strain to serve up something odd; all your dish requires is a bit of seasoning and flavor that are your own. In the magazine format, the front cover gives even better opportunity to stamp the periodical with its own character. Here consistency truly is a jewel. Decide upon the treat- ment, and stick to it, at least for several issues in a row. Keep the title in the same place each time. If you like a single picture, filling most of the cover, stay with that idea for a while; don't use four pictures one issue, and only one the next. As time goes on, there will be plenty of opportunity for variations. The important thing is identification in the reader's mind. When he sees the publication, he should rec- ognize it. Content No matter what the form used, orderly arrangement of content also helps to establish character. Suppose you plan an editorial for each issue. Keep it in the same place, with the same type treatment. If you have departments, such as sports, vital statistics, safety, or awards and promotions, make it easy for the reader to find them. Before you know it, he'll be used to the publication and will form the habit of turning to the cartoon, the sales record, or whatever else interests him most, as soon as he picks up the publication. When that happens, you've got him hooked, he's a constant reader. In an analysis of 399 employee magazines made in 1948 bv the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, over 120 topics were listed as having been used by four or more of the pub- lications. They fell into these categories: Efforts to increase efficiency. Editorials. 184 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Messages from executives. Official announcements. General information about the company. Financial information about the company. Information about the industry. Company services for employees. Group activities of employees. Personals. Recognition of employees. Promotion of health and safety. Economic information. News of outside happenings. Political news. Material for wives and children. Interest builders. Miscellaneous. It is significant that the largest single classification, ap- pearing in 348 of the magazines, was personals. The next was athletics, in 268; then came clubs and recreation, in 252. Smart editors, in other words, devote major attention to the activities of employees considered as human beings, not as part of the production machine. The trend in recent years has been to diminish the use of personals, but not of stories about people and their activities. Against this background of humanized treatment, the topics in which the company has great interest, such as efforts to increase efficiency, are well received. But a com- pany publication devoted chiefly to what employees ought to do would find few constant readers. The dealer or customer publication is far more impersonal, but here, too, the human touch can be effective. For example, Corporate Journalism 185 the Red Circle of Lehigh Structural Steel Company, sent to both employees and customers, stressed the quality of a big construction job by showing, with a picture of the steel skeleton, one of the "team" of production workers respon- sible. The intent, successfully carried out, was to impress the customer with the fact that here was a group of experts in shop and field, and to give recognition to employees for co- operative effort. The subtle effectiveness of this double- barreled picture story lay in the fact that the company did not boast about its product, but about its men and women, leaving the implication that such a team would be sure to turn out good work. Some Prejudices Returning to the analysis of 399 magazines, the present writers beg leave to inject their own prejudices on two topics. There were sixty-six publications that carried messages from executives. It is only the exceptional company head whose writings are followed with interest by most employees, and so it is notorious that the "president's page" is the one most readily skipped in most issues. Exceptions granted, the real reason for printing most of the oracular pronouncements in such pages is to butter up the boss. Unless he insists, w T e prefer to see his words only when he has something interest- ing to say, and not in routine appearance. A second prejudice is more deep-seated. It is against the gossipy kind of personals, the "Stoop and Snoop" column that deals in innuendo, heavy-handed facetiousness, and some- times actual slander. This kind of item diminishes the pres- tige and effectiveness of any company periodical and fails to follow the real purpose, which, remember, is to cast a favor- 186 Publicity for Prestige and Profit able light on the organization. Legitimate personals, written in a chatty way, are rightly popular. If the editor uses a simple touchstone, he will never offend good taste : "Will the story hurt anybody's feelings?" If there is suspicion that it may, it should find a place in the wastebasket. Some Dividends The house-magazine editor who makes dynamic use of his space achieves results that management recognizes more readily than the intangibles of improving morale or increas- ing loyalty. The House Magazine Institute reported, in a survey conducted in 1952, a typical case: The personnel department is beginning to suggest articles, since we successfully forced them to let us help get new employ- ees through the magazine. We did, too— 200 of them in six months. Another example, from Stephen D. Smoke, of Hill & Knowl- ton, Inc., as reported in Publicity Record: One company conducted a safety glass conservation campaign in the employee magazine. Numerous pictures illustrated ways employees broke, lost or misplaced safety glasses, necessitating replacement at $2 a pair. Editorial material urged greater care in their use. Safety glasses were being replaced free at a rate of 140 a month. Succeeding months saw the number of pairs mis- used drop to 86, then 49 and finally 23. Nothing but the employee magazine was used in the campaign. A saving of $500 was made in three months. EXTERNAL MAGAZINES Customer magazines, mailed freely and sometimes indis- criminately, reach enormous distribution. Prudential Family has 2,500,000, Hometown, by Rexall Drug, Inc., 1,000,000, Corporate Journalism 187 and automobile-company publications are responsible for about 10,000,000 more. Some have become famous for their editorial quality, such magazines as Think, by International Business Machines Corporation, and The Beaver, by the Hudson's Bay Company. At least one, Woman's Day, grew from an A & P house magazine to a commercial status, sell- ing to 3,750,000 customers, carrying advertisements of sup- pliers to the tune of nine million dollars a year, and directly competing with other magazines in the women's field. External house magazines of this scope are interesting as phenomena and as offering rich markets for properly handled publicity material from other industrial sources. Oilways, for example, runs articles about steel, and Steelways runs articles about oil. Many external magazines are deliberately restricted in circulation to reach only leaders of opinion. A breakdown of the distribution of one large external magazine, Steelways, is given below to indicate how wide the successive waves of influence can go. The editor of a smaller company publication will find here not a model but a stimulus for increasing his own audience. 1,000 government officials, including all senators and repre- sentatives in Congress, top-ranking administrators in Washington, and state governors. 3,800 newspaper and magazine writers and editors. 13,000 librarians in city, university, college, and high school. 900 clergymen in steel-producing areas. 4,200 industrialists and business executives. 2,300 professional groups, including economists, engineers, chemists, metallurgists, attorneys, and others. 500 labor leaders. 5,000 farm organization leaders and county agents. 1,000 women's association leaders. 188 Publicity for Prestige and Profit 1,800 university and college professors. 4,800 teachers in junior and senior high schools. 2,300 key individuals in the steel industry. 15,000 steel-plant community leaders. Steelways regularly sends out press releases based on its content. This results in millions of additional impacts on the public, and in some instances the circulation is world-wide. One major article, the use of which was carefully charted, reached a secondary audience of almost 50,000,000 people through radio and reprint in various publications. WIDENING THE AUDIENCE No house magazine is so small that it cannot reach beyond the plant gates in influence. Distribution by mail to the homes of employees is largely supplanting other means of distribution. The practice has increased threefold in the steel industry in the past few years. This logical step pre- vents copies from being lost or thrown away without reading. It links the job and the home. Wives, husbands, parents, and children of the employee make up the first circle of interested outside readers. In a small city, copies also may be sent to schoolteachers, librarians, civic officials, bankers, doctors, dentists, lawyers, beauticians, barbers, and others who talk to many persons each day or whose waiting rooms are normally furnished with reading matter. Even in large cities, the same kind of distribution may be made in the plant neighborhood. The next step, interesting local newspapers and radio sta- tions, is described in detail in Chapter 16. Beyond the com- munity, there is opportunity for still greater publicity, provided the content of the house magazine warrants it. Corporate Journalism 189 For a company of medium size, a combination of em- ployee, shareholder, customer, and community distribution is a practical possibility. A publication planned for this pur- pose is likely to play down the personal items, and to stress two main points: that the company provides a good place to work by treating employees well, and that the type of employees it attracts turn out superior products. To make a house magazine interesting to diverse publics that nevertheless have a common regard for one phase or another of the company's business calls for unusual editing ability but is not at all an unreasonable goal. Perhaps the most unusual of such periodicals is the Shawinigan Journal, distributed in both Canada and the United States, and carry- ing text and picture captions in French as well as English, without interfering with attractiveness of layout or compre- hensibility to readers in either language. This extreme but successful example is cited to demonstrate that no editorial hurdle need be too great for the company that sees a need of telling its story to more than one audience through the same medium. chapter 14 Industrial Exhibits and Press Shows A touch of the old Adam, or spirit of the primordial press agent, is not a bad attribute when the publicity worker turns from the higher aspects of his calling to exploit a public show, display, or exhibit of his company's products. Color, life, and excitement of the theater are created as the spot- lights are turned on, the fanfare sounds, and people push their way through throngs to look upon the latest won- der. This may be anything from a group of boy and girl scien- tists gravely performing experiments in a showcase lab- oratory to a cross section of a new-model automobile. It may be as chaste as the formation of artificial snow or as gaudy as a man-made aurora borealis with accompanying thunder. Into it may have gone nothing more serious than a new way to store eggs in a refrigerator; or it may have the heart- stopping implications of atomic fission. From the publicity point of view, the industrial display, whatever its nature, has two main objectives: to intrigue as many spectators as possible, and to tell the wider public that could not get there what was going on. To do this, the display must create inter- est and arouse excitement. 190 Industrial Exhibits and Press Shows 191 FORETHOUGHT However brilliant or impressive the display, careful, solid, methodical planning must he behind it. If it is to be perma- nent, as in a museum, thought must be given to maintenance after the first occasion on which the public views it. As a basis for future work, records should be kept of attendance, comments, tangible returns in new business, publicity ob- tained, and souvenirs or company literature given out. Ar- rangements for these and other essential details are best planned far in advance, for when the rush of the opening is on, all concerned will be too busy to look after items not on schedules. INTRODUCING NEW PRODUCTS On the national, regional, or local scene, the introduction of a new product or line of products, or of the new season's models, should be backed up by a publicity campaign which complements the advertising and sales-promotion program. It serves two useful purposes: to arouse advance interest on the part of distributors, dealers, and customers; and to build additional prestige for the company. The prestige created by broad newspaper and magazine publicity has immediate, practical value in many cases; for instance, in helping to influence distributors and dealers to take on a new product with less hesitation than if an approach were made to them solely through the company's sales department. The problem of obtaining distribution is often acute, particularly with a small or new company. Publicitv re- sulting from press coverage can be used to convince im- portant outlets that the product will have ready public acceptance and should be stocked. The large company, such 192 Publicity for Prestige and Profit as an automobile, refrigerator, or air-conditionaing manu- facturer, is more likely to inform the dealer organization first, and sometimes even to ship stock on advance order, so the product will be available to the public the moment the news breaks. Public relations thinking is needed as management makes its plans. Timing is all-important. The greatest secrecy is often called for, to prevent a leak of the news which might diminish later impact. Wise management will instruct pro- duction, sales, and advertising departments to observe utmost secrecy until the word is given. Even when circumstances have forced some prior infor- mation out to the distributors, it is unwise to permit them actually to see the new product before it is shown to the press, if publicity plays any part of the campaign. If a new product has been shown to hundreds of dealers before the press is permitted to report it, the news value is seriously affected. A standard rule has been established that a press showing is held on the first day, a dealer or distributor show- ing on the next day. Editors rightly demand news while it is news, and on this point the public relations and pub- licity staff stand with the editors. No advertisement showing the product should appear prior to the first press showing, or even on the same day. If overzealous sales people force the issue, they damage the company's standing with the press, and top management should agree that this is selling out prestige rather cheaply. Press Kits At the press showing a package of publicity materials, called a press kit, should be available for all press and radio Industrial Exhibits and Press Shows 193 visitors, and copies should be on hand to send to those in- vited who could not come. A press kit, whether modest or elaborate, contains the following essentials: 1. News release based on the press showing, not more than two pages of typescript, and including brief description of the product and how it is used, the price, and where it can be obtained. Editors complain that too many news handouts are filled with superlatives but never get to the point. 2. Background memorandum, if appropriate, giving scien- tific engineering, design, and application data in detail. This may run from three to a dozen pages, depending on probable editor interest. The industrial-magazine editor always wants to know all, no matter how much space he can devote to the story; bear in mind he may have valuable later uses for the information. 3. Text of a statement of the highest-ranking company official present. If the president is not there but a vice presi- dent is, the statement should be made by the vice president. This statement should not run more than two pages. The company official's picture may be included if his statement is news-making in itself. However, this should never, at an exhibit or press show, be the only picture given out. 4. Copious pictures of the product. Editors like to make their own choices. Better to include a dozen pictures than only one, if the budget will stand it. These pictures should look different from each other. Human models should be changed as well as accessory items in the pictures, such as food, fabrics, etc., and pictures should be taken from various angles. 5. Though not a must, an institutional leaflet or booklet 194 Publicity for Prestige and Profit on the company may be included. This helps to widen the editor's knowledge of the company. The Press Showing It is advisable to have a photographer on hand, to ac- commodate editors who will use pictures of the press show- ing, of company officials present, or of the product. Many prefer this type of picture to those in the press kit. Not infre- quently an editor likes to be in a picture, too. He has a public relations job of his own to perform. A shot of the editor chat- ting with the top company official, published in that editor's magazine, is complimentary to both. On a large panel screen, additional photographs may be mounted, with captions, each picture bearing a number. An attendant should be ready to take down orders from editors for these special pictures, which may include re- search and production shots of limited but important inter- est. A reserve supply of prints should be available, either to hand out then or to send later by mail or messenger. Guests should register. Editors recognize the sign-up book as a protection against outsiders' crashing the party. If careful watch is not kept, strangers can damage the pub- licity, sometimes innocently. At a stainless-steel exhibit held on a mezzanine floor, an out-of-town professor wandered in. A reporter from a metropolitan newspaper got a good interview on what the professor thought of stainless steel, but this did not please the exhibit sponsor. Exhibits of complete product lines may occupy an entire working day. On such occasions, editors have a choice of time, which they welcome. Cocktails usually are served during the showing, depending on local custom, and a buffet Industrial Exhibits and Press Shows 195 lunch from twelve to two-thirty is appropriate. If a state- ment is to be made, it should be timed about noon, to protect the afternoon papers. A late-afternoon showing is equally acceptable, if only one or two products are to be shown, and some affairs are held with an evening dinner, though this is not too popular with most editors and should be limited to the truly big occasion. During the exhibit hours, many company executives whose work relates to the product or line should be present. Some editors will seek out the research director, others the chief engineer, others the sales manager. Unlike the formal press conference or company meeting, the bars are down at a product showing, and everybody in authority may be inter- viewed on his aspect of the job. In some cases advance coaching is necessary, so the export manager will not talk for publication about engineering, and vice versa. Because of diversity of interests among editors, some companies split the press showing into two parts: the wire services and newspapers for one period; industrial, business, and household publications for another. The reason is that the two groups will want different types of information. It is doubtful that the imagined result is really gained, however, for in the majority of press showings everybody qualified to attend is welcomed through an entire session. If a split does seem desirable, a diplomatic way to handle it is to invite newsmen at 11 a.m., to stay through lunch, and industrial and other magazine editors for lunch, to stay through an afternoon meeting. Only rarely are the sexes divided, but some exclusive men's clubs, convenient for press entertainment, do not admit women, as more than one impetuous publicity man has discovered too late. 196 Publicity for Prestige and Profit The Single Product Size and prestige of the company certainly influence the amount of publicity attention its new products will create. However, the small business is never squeezed out if it has something really newsworthy. It is not necessary to resort to freakish stunts; though the large company can put on as much of a circus as it chooses without criticism, editors are more impressed with a smaller concern's efforts if they are dignified. For example, Crosley Division of Avco Manufacturing Corporation exhibited a million dollars in one-dollar bills, to open a display of its full line and to announce a customer and dealer contest. A picture of a tasty model inside a huge refrigerator, stuffing bills into the top of her stocking, was used in Life. This was about as extreme an instance of circus press-agentry expertly applied (with cheesecake) to an in- dustrial product as had been staged for a decade. A new, unimportant company without a large, established consumer market and a huge advertising budget would probably have fared less well. A small but imaginative company handled its problem of introducing a new product by a much more conservative technique. A research scientist of standing attended the press showing. The scientist explained to the press that the chemi- cal was not suitable for broad application. Reporters, editors, and newscasters were shown color slides of tests held over a period of two or three years. They were urged to respect the company's desire not to exaggerate claims. As a result, wire services, syndicates, metropolitan news- Industrial Exhibits and Press Shows 197 papers, radio networks, and industrial and mass-circulation magazines publicized the new product, with assurance that it had a sound basis. Obviously, had the smaller company tried to achieve this result by merely imitating the clever press-agent approach of Crosley, its product and its presen- tation would have been subject to ridicule. TRADE SHOWS Regional and national trade and industrial shows have become big business in themselves. The individual company ordinarily rents floor space and hires professional display showmen to build the exhibit around a company theme. The publicity worker for a single exhibiting company is sometimes abashed at the prospect of getting any mention in the press of his firm or products because the big show itself demands major attention, but such a situation is merely a challenge to his ingenuity. He should by all means work with the press bureau of the show, supplying news and pic- tures of his exhibit in the expectation that some of it will be of value in general publicity. But his activity need not be limited to this. The publicity man for a small manufacturer of a rare metal, lithium, was forewarned that the company could secure only a tiny booth on the top floor of a four-floor ex- hibit in a national chemical show. Because of necessary restrictions on the amount of noise or flashing lights or other attention-callers permitted, he abandoned plans to outdo competing exhibitors. He went far afield, but with good results, by preparing a statement of the remarkable attri- butes of the product three months ahead of the show and placing this material, not with editors and writers, but with 198 Publicity for Prestige and Profit a comic-strip syndicate. Timing was arranged for a sequence in the comic-page story to include an exciting episode based on the "mystery metal" at the time the show was to be in progress. Large blowups were made of the cartoons when they appeared, and these were used as the main motif in decorating the booth. Company officials admitted to certain qualms, since their purpose was to attract serious-minded potential users of their product. But the prospect of being "lost" among large and showy exhibits was so compelling that they acceded to the publicity plans. As a result, the small lithium exhibit soon became publicized by word of mouth throughout the show: metallurgists, engineers, and purchasing agents prov- ing to be as human and as greatly intrigued as the general public. With the comic strip appearing daily, the publicity man seized his opportunity to obtain newspaper and radio coverage calling attention to the actual exhibit of the "mystery metal." This so-called press-agent stunt was appropriate because for the time being all exhibitors were in show business, com- peting for public attention. Timing had been carefully planned, and the follow-through of publicity to the potential audience that did not attend the show was not neglected. Seizing the moment that will gain maximum attention is one of the primary tenets of show business. If it is done properly, a certain amount of dignity may be sacrificed with safety. When President Garfield visited Springfield, Mass., the circulation manager of one of the country's most sedate newspapers handed him a copy as he stepped to the rear platform of his train. Then, before the President could speak, the promoter shouted to the crowd, "Read the Springfield Industrial Exhibits and Press Shows 199 Republican, the newspaper your beloved President holds in his hand." Though this exercise of the spirit of enterprise would be considered in bad taste today, it proved a huge suc- cess, for as the modern press agent might say, the President "went along with the gag" and gaily waved the paper. (Po- litically, it supported him.) THE TIME CAPSULE Burial of records is at least as old as the Pharaohs, yet it was turned to account in one of the most spectacular demon- strations of timing and showmanship in the modern day. Drs. Einstein and Millikan, together with a coterie of other scien- tists and famous men, contributed to the interment on the precise autumnal equinox of 1938 of a Time Capsule, 50 feet underground in Flushing Meadows on Long Island. With the greatest dignity and pomp a ceremony was held as this message to world inhabitants 5,000 years thence was lowered. Fifteen years after the obsequies the Time Cap- sule was still the subject of publicity, and it may continue to be for centuries. The conception of a gifted public re- lations counselor, Dr. G. Edward Pendray, its purpose was to bring to the attention of industry a new alloy metal, a combination of silver and copper called Cupaloy. By timing the burial at a symbolic moment, by linking it with the projected opening of a World's Fair, and by lifting the work of the press agent to that of the high-minded scientist, many millions were made aware of a commercial product. These millions included the few hundred whom the sponsoring company sought as customers for its metal. The secondary effect, of raising the prestige of die com- pany, brought even more profound and lasting echoes. A 200 Publicity for Prestige and Profit replica of the Time Capsule with its contents was placed in the Hayden Planetarium, and a book written for the oc- casion was deposited in museums and libraries in centers of learning around the world. TRAVELING EXHIBITS Granted a theme of such universal interest as to attract the general public, an industrial exhibit may be fashioned to travel from city to city, attracting crowds at every stop. The large company or trade association may afford a coast-to- coast tour on a grandiose scale, but it is more usual to limit the industrial show to a few stops. These may be main dis- tribution points for the company's products, such as dis- trict sales headquarters, and the show may have a secondary purpose, to demonstrate products to dealers of the region. A meeting of dealers in connection with the exhibit is often an apt subject for publicity stories in the local press. On such an occasion more than a mention of the meeting can be ob- tained if a high company executive, such as the general sales manager, is brought in. His talk to the dealers need not be lim- ited strictly to product. Newspapers like discussions of busi- ness trends and predictions of future prospects. An out-of- town man of standing in his industry may be worthy of an interview or press conference, or at least of a release with excerpts from his speech. Such a talk obviously should be plentifully sprinkled with local references. If a demonstration of products is to be given, the news- papers may send photographers, and in any case the publicity man's job is to see to it that the subject is covered pictorially. News interest can be added by such devices as a visit to the demonstration by civic leaders, high-school classes, women's Industrial Exhibits and Press Shows 201 organizations, and others. Always the human factor must predominate, if editors are to be intrigued. The Cooperative Show Another excellent source of publicity is the traveling show in which a number of businesses cooperate. Chambers of commerce are helpful in rounding up participants, and usually a committee is formed to finance, plan, and conduct a tour of a nearby territory. On this committee the publicity man plays an important role. With assistance from others, he arranges dates and reception committees in the communi- ties to be visited and sees to it that advance publicity, with pictures, is distributed to the press in those communities. He also organizes liaison with the press during the visit and sets up facilities for photographers or for press interviews. Among his important duties is the preparation of leaflets, in- vitations, and other literature and supervision of their dis- tribution. In this cooperative effort it is essential to make sure that all the elements in the exhibit bear on the main theme. Such a theme might be "Home Building," or "Food Canning and Storage," or "The Farm Kitchen." As a rule, the theme is localized, as "What Bigtown Makes," or "You can Buy It in Bigtown." If stimulation of regional civic pride is a main objective, the theme may be in line with the permanent slogan of the New Jersey capital: "Trenton Makes— The World Takes." Some cities are the heart of a certain industry, as Waterbury is for brass fabrication, or Pittsburgh for steel production, or Toledo for glass, and joint promotions for any size of city with such an asset can be made most effective. 202 Publicity for Prestige and Profit The publicity worker for a cooperating company obviously looks after his employer's interests in seeking a fair share of attention; but, unlike an exhibitor in a big national trade show, he is expected to refrain from seeking separate pub- licity on his own. This applies with special force to the large industrial unit. More is to be gained by emphasizing the joint nature of the exhibit than by seeking to dominate it. A certain amount of rivalry for position is bound to take place behind the scenes, but if this results in an obvious overplaying of the big company at the expense of the others, the salutary effect of cooperative effort may be lost or at least harmfully diluted. WINDOW AND LOBBY DISPLAYS For window, lobby, and other semipermanent displays, the National Association of Manufacturers compiled a useful plan of operations, of which the following are the main points: 1. Form a committee to make and carry out essential plans. Such a committee might include executives of public relations, advertising, sales, production and industrial relations. In smaller companies, a committee of three is often adequate. 2. Survey available locations and select the most appropriate. 3. Choose a theme, expressing one or more of the following: (a) quality of the company's products; (b) varied uses of products; (c) a company anniversary; (d) a religious, patriotic or local holiday; ( e ) the traditional enterprise system of America. 4. Develop the display to carry out the idea expressed by the theme. Some companies have found it helpful to include the services of professional decorator or company specializing in industrial showmanship, together with such company workers as artists, signwriters, carpenters, etc. Industrial Exhibits and Press Shows 203 The variety of possible subjects is almost endless but most will be comprised in one or another of the following cate- gories: A demonstrator, such as an operator working at his ma- chine. Any interesting moving device, including models and miniatures. A continuous motion picture or fllmstrip shown with the use of a rear-view automatic projector, or with a combination machine containing both projector and screen. Examples of products made by old manufacturing tech- niques compared to new products, and accompanied by de- scriptive cards. Products and parts shown in various stages of manufacture. Prizes, awards, and trophies. Photographs showing scenes from company history; how raw materials are obtained and shipped; steps in manufac- ture; plants, offices, recreational, and social activities of employees; distribution and uses of products, including mili- tary uses. chapter 15 Exploring for Hidden Treasure A critic described public relations people as "high priests of the superficial/' Unfair, no doubt, but soul-searching may reveal a half-truth in the wry comment. Instead of angrily attempting to counter the charge, it may be helpful to examine ways to rob it of its barb. Among the best is to demonstrate that it does not apply to all one's own work. Ephemeral news and entertainment of the day play just as legitimate a part in publicity and public relations activi- ties as they do in other fields; without them we should pass sorry lives. There is some danger in pretentiousness, pro- claiming with a solemn air that our purpose and practice are always exalted; too easily it can be shown that they are not. It is when professional people lose the grace of humor and take themselves too seriously that they become vulner- able. There is nothing shameful about trying to sell goods through publicity, so it were better to admit with candor that this is among our aims, that our work is mundane, and that the commercial side of the business has a right to expect practical results. Industry fortunately is not so engrossed in immediate profit and volume that long-range goals of making a genuine contribution to the economy are shunned. The opposite is true. By no means have all the social gains in this generation 204 Exploring for Hidden Treasure 205 been wrested from unwilling industrialists. Billions freely spent in scientific research and in education have done far more than develop new products. Administrative time and talent bestowed without award on governmental and civic projects is beyond computation. There is reason for honest pride in achievement. Identification of an individual company with a great event for which it has whole or partial responsi- bility is not only desirable, but in the public interest, and to publicize this identification is a public service. Why, then, the charge of superficiality? It is based not only on the frothy publicity that is bound to be part and parcel of business promotion, but on the tendency of all publicity to dramatize. Certainly dramatization is not new, but the ability to multiply its effect by swift communication is a development of our own times. Herein lies the preoccupation of most publicity workers with the immediate. Each new medium of communication makes its own demands and calls for adaptation of techniques to its own special needs. Just to keep abreast of the new requires no little effort or industri- ousness. Public relations fortunately can go deeper if it wants to, and it often does. Only recently has a trend developed to do more than engage in competition for the momentary flash of attention and to use publicity and the other tools of public relations to gain a more significant and more lasting impact. Most publicity, by its nature, must deal with the present or look toward the future. Yet both have greater value when shown against a backdrop of the past. From a short anecdote to a two-volume company history, the past struggles and achievements of American industry are beginning to be pub- licized as never before. Inevitably the great, rich companies 206 Publicity for Prestige and Profit have taken the lead. Yet the smaller one, aggressive and alert as it must be for present progress, has a like opportunity to exploit the treasures hidden by years. PUBLICITY FROM THE PAST A small manufacturer, for example, learned that his first product, a pump, still was in operation- after thirty years of constant use. Pictures of the old machines, a readily given tribute by the user, and a picture of the modern streamlined model made an excellent story for the industrial press. When one of the mechanics who had helped install the original pump took his first airplane ride to the site to "inspect" it, this added the human flavor that gave the story emotional appeal. A woman working at a drafting board in a Philadelphia plant was discovered to be a descendant of the builder of the Monitor, famous naval ironclad. Plans over which she labored were for a turbine for a new naval vessel. The link to the past, the aspect of family tradition still carrying on, appealed to sentiment, and when she was chosen to launch the destroyer escort Ericsson, the public effect was far from superficial. Walter Chrysler depositing his carpenter tools in the tower of the skyscraper named for him; The Saturday Evening Post carrying a portrait of Ben Franklin as a front cover to celebrate his birth date each year; the people of Middletown, Ohio, observing Verity Day annually to honor a great human- ist, as well as steelmaker, whose industry remains a major factor in the community's economy— such phenomena indi- cate a yearning by the public for identification with the roots of our present existence. Exploring for Hidden Treasure 207 A publicity worker feels no sense of triviality when he engages in an activity connected with history, for he deals with lasting and significant values, not expressible on the company's balance sheet, perhaps, but among its prized as- sets nonetheless. LIFE AND TIMES OF A COMPANY Invasion of a rural county on the Eastern Seaboard by a company about to build a factory posed a series of problems that management wisely decided could be resolved only by public relations planning. The case was aggravated by the fact that another industry established in a nearby village a generation ago had imported unskilled laborers of an un- desirable type, paid low wages, and built a high wire fence around its property. Though the chamber of commerce had at first boosted the coming of the original industry, the county had not been too unhappy when the project failed and left only a crumbling ruin as its memento. Memories are long in this historic area, so the fresh proposal met with little local enthusiasm. In addition, the new plant was for the manufacture of chemicals, which implied the danger of polluting a stream where fish spawned— and many county men pieced out their living from the land by commercial fishing at certain times of the year. A chemical works belching forth nauseous fumes, moreover, might drive away the summer populace, which brought considerable revenue to several nearbv towns along the shore. Difficulties were increased bv the fact that the plant was a unit of a European-owned enter- prise, and in this county even people from out of the state, though treated civilly, still were regarded as foreigners. 208 Publicity for Prestige and Profit What seemed a culmination of troubles occurred just as word began to get around that specific sites were being considered. An explosion in a chemical works 60 miles away terrified villagers and their families. To a large extent, fears were allayed by honest, forthright statement, including a guarantee of no water pollution and explanation that the chemicals to be made were mostly though not entirely inert and nonflammable. Months were deliberately taken to inform editors of weekly newspapers, educators, clergymen, bankers, and local merchants as to company labor policies. It was pointed out that local workers would be hired except for technical personnel, fair wages paid, and social benefits such as hospitalization, group in- surance, and pensions offered. Then the company took advantage of two great assets. Another of its plants was located in the same state, a most reassuring factor; and it was an old company, founded nearly a century before. The influence of these favorable as- pects was marked. The company decided that they should furnish its theme in "selling" the community on its advent. Spot time was bought on regional radio stations and pub- licity material supplied to area newspapers, stressing that this was really a neighbor company already and that because of its solidity through the years management had learned how to live in harmony with others. This drawing upon the company's past was effective, in a community itself nearly three centuries old. To the younger generation the idea of year-round employment near home, training for careers, and other company benefits made strong appeal. By isolating the plant in the center of large acreage any advance criticism of air pollution or unsightliness was Exploring for Hidden Treasure 209 avoided. To culminate its good-will efforts, the company produced a small book devoted to the history of both the community and the world-wide enterprise that had come to be a new "citizen." In this historical sketch, the company was described in terms of early struggle, contribution to American progress and the world market which the products to be made in the county would serve. Every link of common interest was forged. This was a case of dispelling the mystery that often sur- rounds the coming of a new industry, taking community leaders into confidence, and by use of a great asset, a cen- tury of existence, gaining an emotional rapport with people who might well have remained hostile had they been differ- ently treated. AGE IMPLIES GOOD MANAGEMENT Not every company can boast a history of 100 years. Yet many twenty-five years old and more have an excellent op- portunity to make use of a fine past against which present- day progress can be reflected. Age also can be dramatized to customers, shareholders, and others with telling emphasis. Survival of a company for a generation or longer implies good management and regard for reputation. It is not enough, however, merely to state the year of the founding, or to produce a silver- or golden-anniversary publication, valuable though these are. The theme of consistent quality production for many years is worthy constant exploitation through publicity. For example, a yearly examination is made of the stain- less-steel mullions on the Empire State Building, by a quali- fied committee, to determine whether the rain of soot and 210 Publicity for Prestige and Profit enveloping noxious gases in the New York City atmosphere have damaged the material. For purely maintenance pur- poses, such an inspection every five years would probably suffice, but the ritual is faithfully carried out annually, with great publicity benefit to the maker of the decorative steel. To add interest to its own history, the Judson Pacific- Murphy Corporation produced a pictorial brochure showing scenes of old San Francisco, including but not entirely de- voted to buildings for which the company had fabricated structural steel. The booklet was highly prized for its general historic content. The part the company had played in the growth of the city was not neglected, but neither was it blatantly forced upon the reader, and thus its permanent impact was deepened. THE FIRST IRONWORKS Perhaps the most elaborate exploitation of history for the sake of industrial publicity was the reconstruction under- taken in 1949 of a colonial ironworks located on the bank of the Saugus River 10 miles north of Boston. Through Ameri- can Iron and Steel Institute, the entire steelmaking industry financed the restoration, calling in the services of historian, archaeologist, and geologist as well as those of architect and builder. Intended as a shrine to industrial pioneers, the first ironworks had an amazing effect on several hundred indus- trial companies whose managements had seldom given a passing thought to history. Thus individual companies were enabled to benefit from an all-industry enterprise with which all could be identified. Manufacturers were stimulated to tell not only the story Exploring for Hidden Treasure 211 of the first ironworks, but that of their own companies. In the course of this publicity work, many worth-while but forgotten accomplishments were brought to light. Those who make nails, or wire, or wrought-iron articles or castings, were impelled to discover whether their own companies had made a contribution to the art of ironmaking and steelmaking in past years. They gained their share of publicity, a great store of knowledge was added, and impetus was given to the scholary work of preserving invaluable records that otherwise might have been discarded. The restoration at Saugus was in line with an awakened consciousness of the American industrial heritage, a con- sciousness that also had reverberations in other industries. Old ironworks located elsewhere had been preserved by government agencies, as tourist stops of interest. But when industry turned its might to the most ancient blast furnace of which there was a respectable amount of remains, a new force in recognition of the past was created. Our interest here lies not so much in what one entire industry did, but in the publicity capital it afforded to hundreds of individual companies, with from less than 100 to more than 100,000 employees. DIGGING IN YOUR OWN ARCHIVES It is not necessary to wait for du Pont, the Aluminum Company of America, or any major unit in your own industry to pull the switch. You can make a start in your own com- pany, to great benefit. While Standard Oil (N.J.) engaged a research staff at Harvard to make an exhaustive studv of its history, a single college instructor was at work on company records of a small Virginia concern that possessed a parallel 212 Publicity for Prestige and Profit if not equal interest in its own past. Size of the company is not necessarily of first importance. Here and there evidences are apparent of this new recog- nition of a publicity asset. Many industries contain excellent potentials in popular interest, for example Florida citrus fruit, air conditioning, New England commercial fisheries, and a score more fascinating industries in need of public ac- ceptance and deserving of public acclaim because of their contributions to our economic and social life. Joint efforts by trade associations are desirable, but here again there is no need for the publicity man for an individual company to wait for collaborative effort. One of the indus- tries concerned with health has been trying since 1937 to get its rich and impressive story told as a jointly financed project, but the basic research had not even been started in late 1953; nothing but committee discussions. In the indi- vidual company there is normally less lethargy. WAYS TO USE HISTORICAL MATERIAL News was described by Negley Cochran, a forceful Scripps-Howard editor, as "what hasn't been told.*' The apothegm applies with precision to information about early days of a company. Few in the present generation, for ex- ample, know that John N. Willys set up his first automobile assembly line in a tent, that inquisitive George Westinghousc drilled in his backyard in Pittsburgh and struck oil, or that Louis K. Liggett founded his fortune on something he found in a wastebasket. It is not needful to publish a tome about a business to capture public interest in its colorful past. Space advertising, company brochures and magazines, and reports to shareholders, radio commentators, press colum- Exploring for Hidden Treasure 213 nists, and editorial writers provide outlets for a flow of historical material that can build prestige more enduring than any statement of present profits or plant expansion. The publicity man who digs deeply for the buried treasures in his own company's archives can perform a service that is far from superficial in its net effect. VITAMINS IN OLD PRODUCTS In 1953, Cosmopolitan magazine published an article on the eruption of Krakatao in 1883, an event of which pre- sumably few of its present-day readers had heard. Shrewd editors linked it by comparison to man's efforts at destruction with the atomic bomb, thus giving the story a modern twist. They recognized that news is "what hasn't been told." This is just as true of news of industry as in any other walk of life. What new treatment can a publicity man give an old product to make it newsworthy? Here are examples, pre- sented as stimuli to exploration: 1. An installation of "reverse refrigeration," in which cool- ing apparatus was rigged up to provide heat, had been made in a Connecticut office building twenty-five years ago. When an appliance manufacturer was about to launch a home imit for both heating and cooling, his publicity man illustrated the story with pictures of the old building, to show that the principle had been successfully used for a quarter century. This added great stability to the appliance manufacturer's claims. 2. A manufacturer of metal joists ripped plaster and woodwork from a Pittsburgh residence to show that the joists had stood up for fifty years. Photographers were pres- 214 Publicity for Prestige and Profit ent, of course. Their pictures were used to convince build- ing authorities in other cities that restrictive code provisions should be changed. 3. For several years manufacturers had carried on small- scale demonstrations of an ultraviolet lamp, and had gained half-hearted acquiescence for their claims. Then one com- pany installed the lamps in barracks where 2,000 enlisted men lived, and proved the point in one season, by dramatic use of an old product. HISTORY NEED NOT BE HEAVY The ledger of a Toledo company for 1870, listing potatoes at 25 cents a bushel and other items in proportion, was the source of a publicity story that drew deserved chuckles and at the same time reminded the public of the age of the es- tablishment. A department store discovered a dozen pairs of high-button shoes, neglected in a stockroom for thirty years. A publicity story brought a rain of requests to pur- chase the shoes; the newspaper began a search for the oldest unworn shoes in town; this recognition of publicity possibili- ties, not the shoes themselves, was the treasure. A touch of quaintness is the common denominator of such publicity. Anything in company history twenty-five years away is usually safe to use, and suitable if it is different enough from present ways to appeal to the sense of whimsey. HISTORY NEED NOT BE ANCIENT The more recent past also can be productive. The Empire State Building dates only from 1930, yet is considered worthy of news and feature attention year after year. There is a temptation, after a well-done publicity job, to put the subject Exploring for Hidden Treasure 215 aside until it has become really historic. But to look into files of the past two to five years can be just as rewarding as to mole through those of the founder's day. Anniversaries are important, not only those of companies, but of news happenings. An excellent illustration is the ex- perience of the Manhattan Life Insurance Company, whose public relations counsel, Wendell Buck, found the seed of a possible story in old records. A policyholder was about to reach the age of ninety-six, when his insurance proceeds would be paid to him in full. A light note was needed in the publicity. Mr. Buck created it by playing up the gaffer's joy at having "fooled the company" by outliving his policy. This story gained several million circulation. But the real divi- dend to the company came when on the anniversary each year until the policyholder's death, press releases again re- minded the public that he still was enjoying his big joke. Most publicity workers would have been content with the first year's results and thus sacrificed the impressive later benefits. The millionth bank account, the ten-millionth auto, the big round number of anything makes news for no particular reason, but it does give the desirable patina of age and re- liability to the sponsoring company. Yet modern publicitv men should do better than imitate this hardy perennial. A story of a wedding in a balloon is a press-agent stunt, but one about how the house, car, government bond, or other prize given the couple is being used a year later has enough social significance to lift it from the stunt class. The people made famous for a day by publicity are not obliterated from public memory in twelve months, yet it is the rare publicity worker who is diligent enough to follow 216 Publicity for Prestige and Profit through. When he does so, he appeals to a much deeper emo- tion than the casual interest aroused by the first release. He answers the question "What was the end of the story?" Did Cinderella and the Prince really live happily ever after? The child who by grace of an airline publicity man was flown across the continent for an emergency operation— did she get well? Did the scholarship winner make a notable record in college? Publicity stories that leave reader interest dangling, that raise questions nobody is ever going to answer, are half done. These are the stories that label their creators "high priests of the superficial." A month, a year, five years, is not too much elapsed time to tell the public the rest of the story, to show that your company did not seek solely to exploit itself; that its interest in the human beings it used for its publicity gain was lasting and sincere. chapter 16 Community Relations: An Investment Active participation in the life of the community of which it is a part is one of the soundest investments that any steel company can make. If it were carried on the company's books, it might well be labeled-The Good Neighbor Project." But it is not an invest- ment in the ordinary sense. It is an investment in human rela- tions, and one that will pay long-term returns in public goodwill that cannot be measured by any yardstick, so limitless are its possibilities. That statement by American Iron and Steel Institute ex- presses a philosophy in terms businessmen can understand and appreciate. A booklet from The Borden Company is in the same spirit, as its title indicates: Playing Host: How to Make Plant Tours and Open House Pay Off. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, after questioning fifty companies, summarizes its findings: It is important to any company to have its neighbors feel friendly toward it. And an increasing number of companies con- sider community relations the keystone of their public relations activities. Yet big business invented no new devices, plowed no new furrows in this field, developed no new ways of neighborli- 217 218 Publicity for Prestige and Profit ness. What it practices has largely been learned from small business, and there still is much to learn. The main contribu- tion by big business has been through its genius in organizing and standardizing community relations functions, and will- ingness to make its techniques available to every business and industry farseeing enough to use them. BIG-COMPANY POLICIES Community relations embraces such matters as contribu- tions to charities and dealings with the clergy, welfare workers, educators, editors, women's groups, men's service clubs, and public officials in every phase of the social obliga- tions of business. Business owners a generation ago (with exceptions ) would have scoffed at a description of this work as an "investment." Now it is recognized as a condition not only for prosperity but for survival. The hard-boiled attitude, with high fences and signs reading "Keep Out. This Means You," has given way to the hard-headed, long-headed con- cept, such as is expressed by General Electric: General Electric realizes its obligation to conduct a sound and profitable operation in order to provide jobs and perform effec- tively as a corporate citizen in the community. A direct link of good community relations to profits is not limited to General Electric or any of the far-flung major industries with plants in may states. Any sound, small, lo- cally owned and operated company, though it may have but one factory or store, in one town, and a market limited to a few counties, can subscribe equally well to G.E.'s state- ment of community relations policy: 1. To aid management in being and becoming known as a good employer. Community Relations: An Investment 219 2. To show how our company provides good jobs that circu- late good pay in the community. 3. To be a good neighbor and active corporate citizen, and to be known as such. 4. To encourage the purchase of products locally. 5. To encourage economic education in the communities. 6. To encourage our community neighbors to become informed and active citizens. After five years' experience with a planned community re- lations program, General Electric commented: This was the real pay-off! Unlike 1946, there were no clergy- men in the picket lines [i.e., during a strike]. Merchants did not go against us. Newspapers did not run stories and editorials against us. Most of them knew about our offer and urged the union to accept it. Here are some more benefits from a planned community rela- tions program: 1. Better employees, resulting in greater productivity. 2. Better attitude toward company, by employees and our neighbors. 3. Better climate in the community for the company. 4. More sales of our products. 5. Continuous profits— with resulting good for all. A NO-BUDGET PROGRAM So that is what big business means in describing com- munity relations as an "investment." But how about the small company with little money to spend on such activities? The small company is not precluded by costs from the benefits of good public relations, Thomas D. Yutzv, New York public relations counselor for industries, told a lecture audience. "In fact," he added, "a good public relations poliev can be put into effect without the allocation of funds to it 220 Publicity for Prestige and Profit specifically." He furnished an example in what one small textile mill does, although it does not have a community relations budget as such: 1. Instructs its switchboard operator on courteous tele- phone answering and service. 2. Instructs its receptionist, who also handles typing and some clerical duties, on how to receive each visitor courte- ously and fill his requests as promptly as possible. 3. Makes certain that when the local newspaper calls on the phone or sends a reporter, there is someone on hand to give a courteous answer and, unless it is confidential, to give whatever information the paper wants. If the informa- tion is regarded as confidential, this is explained to the re- porter, with the reasons why. Great care is taken as a matter of policy to avoid any feeling by the reporter that he is "being given the run-around/' 4. The president of the company and the superintendent of the mill make themselves available to give talks about textiles whenever requested by some local group. 5. Small groups of townspeople, such as teachers, minis- ters, merchants, and community officials, are invited from time to time to visit the mill. By keeping the groups small no elaborate preparations are required for these visits. Each tour, however, is preceded by a brief explanation by the president or superintendent as to what the visitors are about to see. 6. All company personnel are encouraged to participate in community affairs. 7. The yard around the mill is always kept tidy with flowers, and shrubbery has been planted to make the prem- ises more attractive. Community Relations: An Investment 221 8. A little lumber, a little paint, and some effort resulted in neat signs to identify the mill for visitors and passers-by. "These are the little things," Mr. Yutzy commented, "that make for good relations. This company is giving attention to the most vital points of contact with the public." The point is well taken. First things should come first. A large money appropriation cannot supplant essential good company man- ners. But with a modest one, and sincerity of purpose, a community relations program can more than pay its way. STEPS IN THE INVESTMENT Because a Family Day, Open House, or some other spec- tacular event has been successful elsewhere or looks like a good stunt that management would be willing to stage is not reason enough for proposing or recommending it. Every community activity is an investment, demanding prudence, planning, completeness, follow-through, and ultimate good- will return. It should have an objective. Until you can put that objective into a single sentence, you are not ready even for preliminary activity. It need not be grandiose; in fact, the more dollars-and-cents character it has, the sounder its appeal. Examine the following list of objectives. Each was accomplished by using one or more community relations techniques. Without the objectives, however, use of the techniques would have been wasteful of company funds. To quiet rumors that the plant was to be moved out of town. To get fairer consideration by the city council. To keep country boys from taking jobs in a big city. To convince state officials the plant was observing sanitary and labor laws. 222 Publicity for Prestige and Profit To cut down traffic accidents near the plant. To increase productivity. To lessen the rate of labor turnover. To justify Sunday operation. To prevent hostility when new management stepped in. To prevent a strike. To heal bitterness (and loss of production) after a pro- longed strike. To put an end to a "whispering campaign." At times a management cannot pin-point objectives but has a genuine impression that all is not well, that merchants are unfriendly, civic leaders standoffish, police and other public officials harsh and hostile. The cure for any such conditions or a combination of them is not to make a big splash or a sudden gesture of cooperation, but to engage in a thorough study of the situation. This can be done professionally by a number of research organizations, which specialize in discovering the true at- titudes of employees, neighbors, customers, or any other group. Employers in Allegheny County, Pa., were somewhat amazed to learn as the result of such a survey among min- isters that 90 per cent of them were discussing social and economic issues in their sermons; 64 per cent did counseling work in such fields as labor-management relations, in which their social attitudes were conveyed to others as a basis for action. The ministerial group was reaching all levels of so- ciety, with 61 per cent of their churches centered in below- average-income communities. On the basis of this survey, intelligent programs were instituted, with the objective of acquainting the ministers more intimately with day-to-day operations of the county's industrial plants. Community Relations: An Investment 223 No matter what the problem outside the factory walls, it has ramifications within. The first public in the community is obviously the employees themselves. With union sanction and often active help, it is possible for outside expert opinion surveyors to get at the heart of dissatisfaction. This may be seemingly as trivial as a thwarted desire to listen to world- series baseball games; or the company may be blamed for something about which it has not been notified, such as a new parking regulation affecting streets near the plant. Anger over small things may burn slowly, but it also may flare up destructively. Gaining a knowledge of what lies behind un- friendliness, in shop or city, is essential as a first step. When management already sees the need of a compre- hensive program of community relations, it still wants the facts— from all elements in the community and bearing on the specific relations of each. Time and money can be saved by taking a leaf from the book of the big concerns, most of which learned to invest in community relations the hard way, after a time of trouble. General Electric frankly says: During the 1946 strike the company suddenly learned that many groups in the local communities distrusted its aims and objectives. The company discovered local opposition from one mayor who openly supported the strike; one city council passed a resolution supporting strikers; several stores removed G.E. products from their shelves. The way G.E. tackled the problem after the strike is adaptable to other businesses, of any size: The first step is to conduct opinion surveys in our plant com- munities. This provides the opportunity to obtain specific "likes" and "dislikes" from our neighbors. . . . We also learned that 224 Publicity for Prestige and Profit each employee mixes regularly outside the plant with approxi- mately 50 people— members of his family, his immediate neigh- bors, his church, clubs, and so on. What outsiders think about the company necessarily modifies or strengthens the opinions held by employees. In the next chapter the principal methods of gaining and keeping community good will will be outlined. Before employing any of them, the two essential preliminaries should be well in hand: an objective so specific it can be stated in one sentence, and possession of the facts as to what present community attitudes actually are. There is advan- tage in employing, when feasible, an outside organization to make the opinion survey, because it is likely to be more objective than one performed by company personnel alone. SOME INDUSTRIAL MYTHS In a savage tribe, a taboo is put on certain words or actions, prohibiting their use. Civilized people as well live under fear of their own taboos. The folklore of industry has more than its share. Too often taboos are tolerated and even encouraged without penetrating examination, yet when the light strikes them, they disappear. Industries may be pre- vented from employing the dynamics of an aggressive com- munity relations program because of inhibitions caused by these fancied restrictions. Myth No. 1. That communities always resent absentee ownership and direction. On the contrary, pride often can be aroused by identification with a great corporation, through establishment of a branch plant. When Westinghouse opened a factory in Fairmont, W. Va., for production of fluorescent lamps, an outpouring of 40,000 persons welcomed the new industry, 10,000 more than the city's population. This was Community Relations: An Investment 225 due to a planned program begun a year beforehand, worked out in meticulous detail by the publicity department, and overlooking nobody. In ensuing years the company has been at pains to continue cultivation of the good will engendered on the red-letter day. T. R. Mullen, president of Lehigh Structural Steel Com- pany (500 employees) of Allentown, Pa., has resided in Brooklyn, N.Y., all his life; yet the company is regarded as one of the leading "corporate citizens" of Allentown, be- cause of his leadership. Though aware of the taboo against nonresident company heads, Mullen decided to ignore it. But he likewise determined to earn public acceptance of the company as a good neighbor. Significantly, he sought out professional community relations counsel, in the belief that principles he had observed in big business could be applied to his own concern. The following accomplishments were chalked up in the first thirty months of the project: Tenure of wastelands adjoining the steel shops was turned over to the city for a park. Citizens of all ages, from the mayor down, lent a hand, moving earth, pouring cement, planting trees and shrubs, installing water lines, and build- ing a bandstand. Hundreds who had not know T n where the plant was located got their first impression, a good one, by visiting the park. A philanthropic foundation was incorporated, providing scholarship funds through competitions in high schools of the area. The annual award ceremonies are a civic event of importance. Cooperative pre-engineering courses were established in high schools, to train future potential employees. 226 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Engineering-college groups from a dozen technical schools were taken to Allentown to tour the Lehigh shops, said to have the best safety record in the industry. Company executives participated in civic activities in Allentown and half a dozen neighboring towns. Bowling and other athletic teams competed in a city-wide league. An open-house celebration brought 5,000 visitors, includ- ing a party from New York which arrived via special rail- road coach. President Mullen emphasized and capitalized on the fact that the concern's customers include important industrialists. Allentown was impressed. Taxi drivers at the railroad station, before Lehigh's com- munity relations project was started, did not know the plant location. Today it is a city landmark, despite a rather ob- scure site on a riverbank. In its industry, Lehigh is now said to rank among the top five companies nationally. The wide- spread publicity it received through its community relations program brought favorable attention unobtainable in any other way. Myth No. 2. That an industry dare not disclose financial matters locally, for fear of inciting demands for higher wages. The taboo based on this myth is on the run. A revealing ex- ample of how to chase it comes from Chilcott Laboratories, Morris Plains, N.J., which took the public into its confidence, using professional skill to present the information. Teachers and clergymen of the village were given these facts: By investing an average of $8,500 for each employee, the com- pany has created jobs for more than 200 persons. Employees receive 30 cents out of each sales dollar. Stock- holders receive 4 cents. Community Relations: An Investment 227 The total annual payroll is more than $700,000 a year— most of which is spent locally. The company pays local taxes equal to those on 100 private homes. Myth No. 3. That arguing over labor policies in public on the local level will bring reprisals from unions. The fan- tastic secrecy that surrounds labor parleys implies a warlike and bitter atmosphere that doesn't exist in a majority of cases. By inertia the old taboo is permitted to retain its hold. A promising change of climate is being developed, however, with the realization that public suspicion of a sinister "deal" between union organizers and management heads is more damaging than the truth would be. Though the day when the press sits in on negotiations has not arrived, it may not be far off. A note of real progress was sounded by educators in Pearl River, N.Y., who induced unions and managements in local industries to accept one another in good faith and together work out a plan of instruction in labor-management relations in the high school. "The first three meetings," says the board of educations report, "proved to be 'heated' discussions on basic principles and objectives." However, "much adult education, under- standing and tolerance emerged from the many meetings which involved logical discussion and debate on controversial points." Nobody had expected managements and unions to see eye to eye; but an end result that meant actual teach- ing of labor-management problems to students many of whom would later become part of the labor force obviously meant a gain on the industrial balance sheet. Significantly, one of the cooperative managements was that of Lederle 228 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Laboratories Division of The American Cyanimid Company, an example of intelligent interest in local affairs by an ab- sentee ownership. Much of the spadework was performed by this company's resident community relations manager, Noel J. MacCarry. Myth No. 4. That it is too risky for management men to mix in local politics. The basis of fear is the virtual certainty that sooner or later, if the participation is successful, the company will be accused of attempting to "run the town." Yet this can be met head on and the charges shown to be groundless by honorable execution of the responsibility. Larger companies, notably Studebaker and Westinghouse, are proud of the number of public offices held on the local level by management men, ranging from foremen up the line. But the smaller company stands to gain relatively even more in prestige. Granting that it takes courage of a high order to take political abuse while rendering a public service for which appreciation will come only after it had been given, if at all, this is an area that challenges business leader- ship in emphatic terms. Nobody has been more outspoken in decrying political corruption, waste, and disorder than the business commu- nity. The executive who is willing to act, instead of only talking, discharges a duty to the local community and also to the general business system. Here and there a courageous small company encourages political participation, to its great credit. Such an opportunity was presented in Wellsburg, W. Va., in the 5,000 population class. The city treasury had been in the red for 15 years. Citizens were concerned over the un- healthy condition of the local government. A businessmen's Community Relations: An Investment 229 ticket elected as mayor Don E. Lewis, assistant to the gen- eral manager of the Hammond Bag and Paper Company, the largest industry. With him served six young business leaders, the Hammond plant superintendent among them. "Of course," Mr. Lewis reported, "we were charged with attempting to run the town and were put on the spot. Our administration was watched closely. It was a difficult task but we operated within the budget, showed a substantial balance and made various city-wide improvements that were much needed." This instance of businessmen putting the welfare of their community first is particularly interesting because of its sequel. The Hammond concern widened participation into other fields, with resultant good will. Executives accepted service on the city water board, one became chairman of the stadium building committee, one headed the civic music association, another the community youth center, and still another the Independence Day pageant. In addition, fore- men from the plant caught the spirit of civic obligation, made a joint purchase of an emergency oxygen unit for use of the community, and took the leadership in the city-play- ground movement and a rural community-improvement asso- ciation. Hammond became known as a public-spirited companv, something for the community to boast about. And, proving its sincerity, the company contributes to forty-six philan- thropic funds. All this, stemming from a decision not to stand aloof when talent was needed in local government, has brought about a thorough integration of plant with commu- nity. It could well bear American Iron and Steel Institute's felicitous label— "The Good Neighbor Project." chapter 17 Community Relations in Action The fine art of developing acquaintance with the neighbors into friendship is practiced in two ways— visiting them and inviting them to visit you. In the jargon of public relations this is called two-way communication. For convenience we shall consider inlets and outlets of information in terms of organizations. This is not to minimize the importance of person-to-person contacts. As Dr. Otis C. McCreery, director of training of the Aluminum Company of America, puts it, "Even the barber is a real communication channel and should not be overlooked. ,, It is needful to make selection, as few industries could hope to meet all the people in an area face to face. "Certain natural leaders," Dr. McCreery says, "influence the thinking of the community— the teachers, the minister, the doctor, and the merchant." Add the editors, public officials, union and chamber of commerce committee heads, and officers of wo- men's organizations, men's service clubs, and agricultural and fraternal bodies, and you have a blueprint to Main Street and to metropolis as well. It is through these men and women, chosen because other people trust and believe in them, that a community relations program works success- fully. The Local Press. The principles of contact work with 230 Community Relations in Action 231 press, television, and radio, outlined in previous chapters, apply on the local scene. Merely bear in mind that, in a plant community of whatever size, publicity dealing with any phase of industry is more acceptable if based on local interest. Canned releases and handouts from out-of-town sources should funnel through the local plant and usually need rewriting to emphasize the local connection. An analysis of publicity obtained by a steel company in a plant-city newspaper over a period of three months was made by John W. DeChant, who has developed many com- munity relations programs. Headlines of the principal news stories paint a picture of a progressive, alert, community- conscious industry. The space occupied by the stories is given not as a means of measuring their value to the concern, but to indicate the relative importance placed on them by the editor: Company Faces Banner Year, Says President [18 column inches] Five Company Winners of Boy Scout Award [Picture display over 4 columns, plus 5 inches of text] Sales Hit 40 Millions in Year [8 column inches] Flood Control Project Uses Local Product [16 column inches] Four Promotions by Steel Company [8 column inches] Will Electrify Largest Plate Mill [9 column inches] Plant to Close for Christmas [6 column inches] Get Cash Awards for Suggestions [16 column inches] Steel Executive Begins 60th Year [3-column picture and 21 inches of text. This story also was carried on press association wires from the plant community] Engineer Receives Award [5 column inches] Engineers on Visit Told of Company Plans [9 column inches] Gives Engineering Scholarship [23 column inches] Field Sales Head Is Speaker [10 column inches] 232 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Company Plans Exhibit [5 column inches] Local Concern Featured in Magazine Ad [9 column inches] Talks on Collective Bargaining [18 column inches. The address was given out of town] Largest Product Made Here [3-column photograph, plus 7 inches of text] Pitmen Are on Strike [8 column inches, describing a "wildcat" strike] Television Will Show Mill [10 column inches] Local Products Used to Build Big Cyclotron [Two 3-column pictures, plus 15 inches of text] Accidents Are Reduced by Steel Mill [3-column picture plus 15 inches of text] Truck Driver Killed in Accident [14 column inches. The story pointed out that this was the first fatal accident in 25 years] Last-minute Goals Help Company Team [9 column inches] Students Will Visit Mill [5 column inches] Issues Souvenir Booklet [7 column inches] The smaller the community, the larger looms the influence of the individual publisher or editor. The town's top news- paper men are on an equal social and business footing with the top local executive of the company. No other individual in town normally displays more leadership in civic affairs than the newspaper head. He is a power. Too often he is a comparative stranger in industrial plants, however. He assigns newsmen to work with public relations people of industries, and word sometimes comes up to him through his own staff that editorial support would be welcomed, but how often does the company's top administrator go to the local publisher for advice on community problems? Is there not more usually a plan worked up by the com- pany that the paper is merely asked to publicize, or a plan from the community for which the industry is merely asked Community Relations in Action 233 to write a check? There's something wrong, a misconception, when either of these situations exists. It implies an under- lying suspicion that the other party is venal, can be bought for money or controlled by an unspoken threat. A more mature attitude on both sides is badly needed in community relations. True respect from and to the editor-publisher should be built on the solider ground of mutual interests and good will toward each other and toward the community as a social unit. TV AND RADIO Similar considerations apply to the television- and radio- station heads, but with a difference. These media of com- munications have not yet assumed the stature of the news- paper, and therefore their executives are not so influential in establishing community attitudes, though they may be even more so in rounding up support. One great advantage is that they reach a wider audience both in area and in number of persons reached; a disadvantage, as influencers of attitudes, is that they have no "editorial page." Television and radio men are likely to be headed for career goals in larger communities, and this is a deterrent to their ever be- coming integrated into the town's life except superficially. With this sizable discount as to their importance to industry, however, they remain a close second to the newspaper editor-publisher, basically because they transmit the news so forcefully to so many. PLANT VISITS Thoughtful community relations specialists of many com- panies and trade associations have built up through the 234 Publicity for Prestige and Profit years the structure of a standard plant visit for influential, relatively small local groups. Such a workable, tried and tested plan, adaptable for an industry of any size, is suc- cinctly outlined by the Johns-Manville Corporation. Local Business and Professional Men Chambers of commerce, bankers, service clubs, profes- sional groups, press, etc. Our problems (says Johns-Manville) are their problems, and if this can be clearly understood, the local business and professional groups will be the company's first line of defense in any community. The Clergy and Religious Groups Individual clergymen, ministerial associations, lay mem- bers of church organizations, etc. The clergyman's concept of right and wrong has tremendous influence. What he says from the pulpit about business and economic problems car- ries a moral conviction in the community. Three out of four clergymen say they want more help through personal con- tacts with industry in understanding business problems and what companies are doing to solve them. Educational Groups Teachers and teen-age students in technical, cultural, and formal education fields. Because we must inform and win the educators and those whom they teach. Today, many edu- cators are hostile to business. Explaining business contribu- tions to the economy ought to be a continuing job. Women s Activity Groups Clubs, parent-teacher groups, League of Women Voters, etc. Women's opinions are an increasingly strong force in Community Relations in Action 235 civic affairs, and women own the majority of shares in Amer- ican business. The experience of Johns-Manville community relations workers has shown that visitors to the local plant are looking for these four things: 1. A broad view of the plant, its people, its operations, and its products. 2. A chance to meet the men of industry and hear their points of view. 3. An opportunity to exchange views with the industrial leaders of the community. 4. An explanation in terms related to each visitor's own finances, of how company operations benefit the local econ- omy. Regardless of the size of your plant, [says a manual prepared for community relations staffs] there are certain broad areas of opinion that you can and should discuss when entertaining plant visitors. You can do these things: Demonstrate that the plant is a good place to work, that it is safe and that the pay is fair. Show that every plant employee is an important person and that every job is vital, thus revealing management's concern for the dignity of the individual. Put management on display during plant tours. Individual members of the management team should be seen answering the questions and shaking hands, thus showing by actions manage- ment's friendly attitude toward our community neighbors. Visitors are scared away by formidable management groups standing on a pedestal; resent it if they go into hiding when visitors are in the plant. By informing plant visitors about research, advertising, sales promotion, quality control and the importance of a high level of production and wide distribution, demonstrate that management 236 Publicity for Prestige and Profit is sympathetic to needs of employees, that it is trying to provide job security, and that to accomplish these purposes management has the responsibility of building a strong, profitable company. These activities must be broadly interpreted so plant visitors do not miss the point. Make your visitors understand that the company and its man- agement accept their rightful share of community responsibility. Prove this point by showing the many ways in which the com- pany contributes to community well-being through taxes, distri- bution of local payrolls, local purchases, donations, civic activities. Relate these things to the individual visitor's own self-interest. Tell the story of your plant technology and products only enough to capture interest. Tell how products are made, what they are used for, how widely they are distributed, how they help raise living standards and again, what it means to the local economy to have these products made at your plant. Help your plant visitors realize that operating a modern, progressive business and keeping it profitable enough to provide continuing job security is a very complex job; that often the best intenrioned management cannot always do the things it would like to do, that business and industry can always do a better job if the community shows understanding, patience and faith. The Borden Company, with plants of many sizes scattered through many states, has adopted basic policies for receiving guests, but the greatest flexibility in applying them. Borden plant visits are scheduled for groups ranging from small parties (preferably eight or ten people) to large-scale open- house audiences. These audiences may be the regular public, employees' families, area dealers, or farm and community organizations. Borden's check list of the fundamentals to be considered in each of these affairs is extremely useful: Time. Number of guides needed. Community Relations in Action 237 Whether plant should be kept operating. Whether place should be provided at the plant for meeting. Whether to provide speaker. Whether to provide transportation. What to serve as refreshments. Souvenirs, gifts or favors. Follow-up. Welcome questions from your guests [Borden's advises its plant managers]. The more interested a visitor is, the more ques- tions he may ask. A distinguished elderly gentleman visited one of our large Borden plants. He asked question after question. He talked with employees throughout the plant. He poked his nose into corners the average visitor would never give a second glance. He wanted to know all sorts of things. How do you keep the plant insect-free? How often do you paint your trucks? How much gasoline does a truck use in a day? How much does a route salesman earn? How long does the average employee work for Borden's? How many 25-year employees do you have? He asked searching questions about every process he watched. Efficiency, cleanliness, safety and product quality especially in- terested him. After touring the plant, the visitor introduced himself. He was chairman of the board of directors of one of America's largest companies. He also was a large Borden stockholder. He wanted to see how the company he owned part of was being operated. (And he found out and was well satisfied.) Visitors are bound to ask questions you can't answer. No one can know everything. So, no matter what your job is, there's nothing wrong with admitting you don't know an answer. If you can't answer a question, say so. Tell your visitor you will get the information for him. If possible, do so before he leaves the plant. If you can't find the answer immediately, take the visitor's 238 Publicity for Prestige and Profit name, address and telephone number, and relay the information to him as soon as you can. Remember, one of the best ways to build goodwill is to answer questions carefully and fully. The plant visit, whether of an individual or the thousands of daily guests such as throng through the Ford plant in Dearborn, should not slavishly follow any pattern set by someone else. It must reflect the home-town plant or its whole accomplishment will be diluted. Advice comes to community relations workers from many sources. Every de- tail of it should be challenged, to make sure it applies in this plant on this occasion for this group. At times the advice is bad. An example: During open house type tours, it is impractical for top manage- ment to greet all guests in a conference room. As a substitute, a one-minute recorded greeting from the company president, wel- coming visitors and urging them to enjoy their visit, may be played continuously as visitors enter the plant. A colder reception could scarcely be imagined! Better that the office boy should greet visitors than that the canned, superficial, and impersonal tones of Mr. Big should interrupt the peace of an otherwise pleasant occasion. Johns-Manville has the right idea— top management should stand on no pedestal, nor should it flee when the doorbell rings. OPEN HOUSE The open house is merely an expanded plant visit. It de- mands complete organization because so many are to be accommodated at once. Special points to be observed: Community Relations in Action 239 Safety precautions are a must. If an over-all-liability in- surance policy covering the plant is not already in force, special short-term insurance should be taken, for the period from the first physical work of preparation to the last minute of cleanup. Some items in preparation: Eliminate any safety hazards on streets leading to the plant. Set up parking facilities. Notify all employees of date and time of open house. (Every family likes to put on its best bib and tucker when company is expected.) Enforce good housekeeping by a thorough cleanup. (A Pennsylvania company started in on this, then had to post- pone its open house thirty days, such a monstrous job was entailed. But the former Augean stables were spick-and-span when the affair finally was held; the company established a fine repute, and the premises have been maintained in good order since.) Pay special attention to clean rest rooms. Rope or rail off danger spots. If necessary, paint tour routes on floors or indicate them by a series of signs and arrows, to keep visitors out of overhead-crane areas, etc. Prepare signs, posters, and exhibits as aids in telling the company story. Lettered cardboard signs are adequate in most plant areas; however, near heavy machinery, metal or porcelain-enamel signs are preferable. Provide clean benches or chairs at intervals on a long: tour. And give visitors a few minutes to occupy them. Never hurry a guest. Make arrangements in plant cafeteria or elsewhere for comfort while refreshments (if any) are served. 240 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Keep plant operations going if at all feasible. It is a let- down to host and guests to see idle aisles. Alert medical and first-aid centers, and overstaff them for the occasion. Prepare a visitors' pamphlet, with a copy for everyone (including children). Where such expense is unwarranted, a mimeographed sheet, giving highlights about the company, can be made to do. Budget the open-house affair. It can run into real money, for as enthusiasm gains, many management people will con- tribute ideas. On the topic of expense, more wise and hard- headed words from Borden: Every public relations or sales promotion project should have its own price tag. To arrive at a fair price, you should ask your- self: "What am I trying to do, and what is that worth? How valuable is this going to be to the company?" Obviously you can't figure the value of plant tours to the exact penny, but careful analysis should help you to arrive at a rough estimate and get a good return on your investment in them. If you hope to promote sales through a plant tour, you would expect to spend more on a dealer than on the average retail prospect. You may have a pressing farm problem that a plant tour will help solve. In such a case, it would be worth more to invite your producers than members of a luncheon club. Long- range planning helps here. Good taste and good judgment are important in planning entertainment. You don't want to appear lavish— and you certainly don't want to be thought cheap. Plant tours can get over-expensive if judgment is not used. Good plan- ning will assure you your money's worth. A COMPANY GOES VISITING The flow of community interest should be out of the plant as well as into it. Participation by company men in civic, Community Relations in Action 241 philanthropic, service, religious, governmental, and social activities is bound to occur to a certain extent, but in many cases this responsibility is passed too far down the line. Top- echelon management should make a point of participating also. In addition, a program of more or less formal visits by top local management reaps a rich harvest. Suitable occasions are the regular meetings of local organizations, in which the company either takes over the program or contributes a large part of it. The fUmstrip, the movie, the demonstration, and the talk on science, engineering, economics, etc., always presented from a local viewpoint, are among the vehicles. If they are used in a hit-or-miss fashion, acceding to re- quests for programs or speakers, a certain amount of value is gained. This can be greatly increased by an organized plan of action. Preparation for such a plan begins well in advance, and entails cooperation from many executives of various levels. The publicity or community relations man is the logical co- ordinator. Even a plant employing fewer than a hundred can implement an organized plan to advantage. Send the Right Visitor On the local scene it mav be a mistake to designate a company speaker solely on the basis of his title. If a vice president is more effective on the platform than the presi- dent, it is the vice president who should be the spokesman. Here the purposes are a shade different than in Chapter 2 where the advantages of the company head as general spokesman are outlined. We are down at the home-to\Mi basis now, where the company representative may be 242 Publicity for Prestige and Profit known primarily because he sings in his church choir, serves on the board of education, or heads the Red Cross drive, and secondarily because of his business connection. Therefore a man is needed who, because of his standing in the community, reflects credit on the company, and intro- duces the company to his own personal friends and neigh- bors. This does not mean that almost anyone who has good community qualifications can do this important job for the company; he should be a high-ranking local company offi- cial. Others may assist and supplement his community work, but he must lead. With the Right Luggage In taking the company to the community, the official should not be casual about his business connection, for his visits have a serious purpose. He must pack into his head, and perhaps into his brief case, a store of reliable and inter- esting information that his audiences will welcome. Prop- erly to equip this man is the task of the public relations staff. Visual materials, such as slides, charts, display panels, in- formation manuals, and other company literature, need to be prepared for him, and he should participate in their prep- aration. Too often a speakers' bureau is set up in a company, identical materials are supplied to all who are willing to help, and a shotgun is used to spread the company's story throughout the local area. Even at the expense of reaching fewer audiences, it is far better to consider each individual speaker's own needs, per- sonality, approach to the subject, and degree of ability on the platform. Then the materials should be tailored to this individual's requirements. It is painful to watch and listen Community Relations in Action 243 while a local citizen stumbles doggedly through a canned speech from headquarters, because he thinks his company demands it. With just a few minor changes that fit him, he can retain his role as neighbor, instead of being compelled to be a bore. The same material, the same presentation, may be made in a community a dozen times. Suppose a speaker has an appealing way with young men and women. In an average community, down to 5,000 population and even lower, he could perform a valuable service to both community and company by repeating the use of the same materials at least six times, to these audiences: Boy Scouts, Four-H clubs, Future Farmers of America, Girl Scouts, Science Clubs of America, Junior Achievement Groups. A similar pattern can be repeated for women's, church, fraternal, veterans', mercantile, medical, and other profes- sional groups. SCHOOL RELATIONS Perhaps the most comprehensive study of industry-educa- tion relationships is that made by Hill & Knowlton public relations counsel for American Iron and Steel Institute. Among specific recommendations appear the following: Through company efforts, and funds where necessary, a con- structive program of library improvement and enlargement is developed. A book donation campaign by company management and employees to build adequate, appropriate libraries for new schools. Because of the serious shortage of teachers in virtually every field, local teachers and school boards will usually welcome anv 244 Publicity for Prestige and Profit teaching assistance in special courses or classes. . . . Guest teachers are very desirable additions to most high school and college staffs. Visual education in schools offers a growing opportunity for companies to provide either their own or selected educational films, which the teachers may work into regular curricula on a scheduled basis. The opportunities for company-sponsored donations of time, money, equipment or facilities to improve all local school (athletic) activities are numerous in every community. Of interest among national programs is Junior Achievement, a movement for establishment of individual enterprises by ambi- tious young people, usually of high school age. Another is the Science Clubs of America, of which there are now several thousand. The members engage in scientific projects of the widest variety, usually with the help and guidance of a sponsor, who works hand in hand with the science teacher of the local junior or senior high school. COMMUNITY PROJECTS A money donation is quite capable of producing ill will, the reverse of its purpose. This is not only a lost investment, but a costly damage to prestige. Most companies are be- sieged by well-intentioned philanthropies, and indeed if it were not for the support by business and industry of most of the country's good works, there is little doubt all public health and welfare would by this time be in the hands of government. Industry gives generously. There is no need to labor the point that it should also give judiciously. There are times when it definitely should not give, times when con- tributions should be reduced. Fairness, impartiality, a sense of balance are as essential to gaining the good will implied as is a warm corporate heart. Community Relations in Action 245 Contributions of time and service may be even more im- portant than money gifts. When a company in its role of good neighbor joins with others in a project for beautifica- tion of its own grounds, the homes of employees, a public park or highway, it assists in building a monument with which it will always be identified. A typical project of this sort is the Plant America move- ment in which many hundreds of industrial companies assist, to their own great advantage. In Columbus, Ohio, for ex- ample, largely through the support of local business and industry, the largest rose garden in the world was planted. This was but part of a state-wide celebration of the Ohio Sesquicentennial of 1953, which called for planting twenty- five million trees and shrubs. No more forceful demonstra- tion of the willingness of business to take its place in a community movement has been made. The Ohio plantings in turn are part of Plant America, a program quietlv and successfully promoted for some five years throughout the country by the American Association of Nurserymen. Howard P. Quadland, public relations counselor to the nurserymen, comments: The heart of Plant America is the local community, indeed the individual family, school, church, mercantile or industrial con- cern. Somewhere along the line, when this local movement began, leadership obviously was needed. This leadership was found in industry and business. In the postwar years, business-which is made up of human beings, too-warmed to the suggestion that now there would be time and opportunity to do more than build efficient and better-looking factories, warehouses and stores; the grounds surrounding these sites provided a wonderful opportunity for eye-appeal. Response to the publicity about the Plant America movement 246 Publicity for Prestige and Profit came from the most unexpected places. Mining and mill towns, heavy-industry zones in large cities, suburban localities into which department and other stores were expanding— these be- came important and inspiring sources of beautification. THE SHAREHOLDER'S SHARE Is the owner a part of the local community, even though physically removed by hundreds or even thousands of miles? Well, he should be, and his feeling of identification with the company is on the increase. True, some are interested in nothing but the balance sheet, the net earnings after taxes, and the amount of dividends received. To this type of share- holder, success is based on opportunism. All he owns, in his view, is a piece of paper, and when its value goes down a dollar or so per share, he'll sell out quickly and shift his investment to something more prosperous at the moment. If all shareholders took this short-term attitude, American business would be almost as badly off as if the government decided to buy in on all the means of production in the economy. Management faces a constant threat from two sides— the irresponsible purchaser of its common stock, and the Marxist who would place all responsibility in a theoreti- cally all-wise government. Not ours to argue basic economics. If the shareholder does not belong to the community in which the plant exists, he belongs nowhere, for he is an asset on which management has a right to count in its dealings with community factors. In this concept, management also has a responsibility to the shareholder far beyond earnings and dividends. With the objective of more enlightened shareholder relations, Weston Smith, executive vice president of Financial World magazine, Community Relations in Action 247 dramatized and encouraged this modern trend by staging an annual competition for the best annual reports to share- holders. Mr. Smith's approach was a studied blend of the popular contest and Hollywood ballyhoo. But it was based upon the soundest principles, and its success was and is phenomenal. Not to participate in the annual "Oscar-of- lndustry" contest of Financial World is, to over 5,000 Amer- ican corporations, to admit to being a nobody. Yet many companies which do compete are small in physical plant, number of employees, and sales volume. Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., in an address at one of the spectacular banquets at which the Oscars are awarded, said: "Corporate reports should sell competitive enterprise." In less than a decade industry as a whole became aware that it had to compete for the shareholder as well as for the employee and the customer. The pediment of this competition is the annual report of management. Through producing better annual reports-5,000 are now submitted annually in Financial Worlds Oscar contest-and the use of accessory materials, financial public relations specialists have assisted business in major aims: to broaden the base of corporate ownership, to develop confidence in management on the part of owners, and to reduce unthink- ing turnover of shares. In the modernized annual report much attention is given to employee and community relations. Backing this up, an increasing number of companies now issue semiannual or quarterly reports of business. Others enclose informative leaflets with dividend notices. Presidents of many companies sign "welcome" letters to new shareholders; some even send letters of regret to those who have sold their shares. 248 Publicity for Prestige and Profit The annual meeting of shareholders also has undergone a marked change since World War II, a change in the direc- tion of greater owner participation in company affairs. Trans- portation is sometimes provided; luncheon is often served; product demonstrations, filmstrips, motion pictures, plant tours, and other means of giving the owners a sense of "belonging" are more widely employed every year. Some companies even hold regional meetings of share- holders in places where there is a large concentration of ownership. In 1952 about one-fifth of 1,000 corporations studied provided minutes of shareholder meetings to indi- vidual owners, including those who could not attend. These minutes are attractively printed and many carry photographs of the meeting. The result of this treatment of the shareholder as part of the community has been an awakened interest and an in- crease in attendance at annual meetings and in the number of comments and inquiries from shareholders as to company progress. The shareholder, whose slice of the familiar pie chart depicting what happens to the company's income dol- lar always looks so small, is without question developing a greater degree of identification with "his" company— in the majority of cases it is "her" company— and this trend, insti- tuted and developed by public relations practitioners, is highly desirable from management's point of view. chapter 18 When the News Is Bad Back in the early 1900s, city desks in New York newspaper offices were astounded when the telephone rang, and a voice said, "This is Eddie Riggs of the New Haven Railroad. Bad wreck up the line. We're running a special train to the scene for newspapermen. If you want to cover the story, be at the depot in an hour." This marked a dramatic change in the attitude of industry toward the press. So strong has the tradition grown that today it is a rare company that locks the gates, bars newsmen at the point of a gun, or refuses to admit bad news. By baring the truth and facing facts that hurt, industry has built a bulwark of public confidence. Too seldom is recognition given to the fact that by and large this has not been due to union demands, government orders, or any out- side pressures. When bad news breaks, a company finds public defenders, solely because of truthful explanations, willingness to tell the worst, and cooperation with the press' When an explosion wrecked Texas City, public relations people of Monsanto Chemical Company performed heroic feats to get all the news to the public as quickly and reliably as possible. Most communities have had their disasters. \ hundred instances could be cited in which publicity men have taken the lead in publishing the details, furnishing 249 250 Publicity for Prestige and Profit every facility for reporters and photographers, and with- holding no scrap of information, no matter how damaging. The attitude this indicates is taken for granted nowadays, but has been general only in our generation. Let the pub- licity man, therefore, wear his halo, for he is entitled to it. Practically all large industries organize in advance to handle disaster news. The smaller concern, with limited staff, can gain equally good public approval merely by refusing to be panicked into secrecy. The publicity man should do the advance thinking and have his plan ready in case of emergency. John W. DeChant relates a typical example : A manufacturing company was commended in several news- papers and industrial magazines for the able and excellent fashion in which it handled a serious accident on company property. Ambulances had no sooner headed for the mill when the com- pany's publicity director received a call from the department head, with full details. On the heels of that came a call from the local newspaper asking where the ambulances were going, and why. The editor was given the location of the accident. Then he was asked where he could be met and how many reporters would be covering the story. Within minutes, the publicity man, the operating vice presi- dent and news reporters and photographers converged at the accident scene. A press headquarters was set up in a requisitioned office nearby. The telephone switchboard was notified to clear lines for the press. Reporters were assured that all information would be relayed to them just as fast as it came in. Photographers were told to take any pictures they desired. Although no effort was made to control their activities, they were asked where possible to give heed to the feelings of the families involved. Because of frankness, promptness, professional guidance and When the News Is Bad 251 the cooperation of senior executives and men on the scene, the full story was obtained and the danger of false rumors averted. Within two hours details of the story were available, families notified, management informed and press and radio completely satisfied. The community commended the company for its forth- right attitude. STRIKES AND LOCKOUTS A typical strike or lockout of the present day is a public debate on issues, seldom an armed war, as was frequently the case up to the 1930s. Public opinion demanded a change in attitude, and industry responded by using all its public relations skills, which really boiled down to frank presenta- tion of all the facts. Any shutdown of a plant is a disaster, however, demanding all the legitimate ingenuity and art- fulness of publicity brains. A New Jersey manufacturer who had got along without labor trouble for thirty-five years faced a struck plant. He hired publicity counsel, and was advised against issuing a recriminatory statement he had prepared. Instead, a letter was sent to the home of every striking employee, giving the company's case in reasoning terms, and ending with a post- script: "Remember, our Biggest Fish contest is still open. If you catch a big one while you are not working, bring it down to the employment office and we'll weigh it in." This ability to "take it easy" when burning issues tend to raise blood pressure is admittedly rare. Yet the publicity counselor certainly earned his fee, for when the negotiators met it was in an atmosphere of friendlv joshing over the fishing contest, and a settlement was reached without the anticipated choler. It is the publicity man's role, not to urge a "soft" attitude 252 Publicity for Prestige and Profit for fear of public reaction, but to seek ways to advance the company's case in a labor controversy. He should remember that the company's side is his side, too. He makes a gain if he induces management not to utter "fighting words" at the wrong time, but when the chips are down he is manage- ment's man. The wake of a strike is as important as the days of actual shutdown. This is the time for conciliatory but not wishy- washy statements. Almost always, after the formal announce- ment of the conclusion of an agreement, management desires to make an afterstatement. The publicity man should look ahead, think about what employee attitudes will be when the term of the new contract has run out. A fine example of this constructive kind of thinking was given by the editor of a house magazine. A company state- ment had been handed him, reviewing the strikes and en- titled "In Retrospect." The editor rewrote the statement in the tone of mutual interests of employees and employer, with the title "Let's Look Ahead." Management saw the point at once and approved the statement; and, mirabile dictu, the union chief even complimented the editor. These instances of public relations influence over manage- ment bear significance. They point to opportunity to increase not only personal stature but that of the public relations function as well. To gain a reputation as the person within management's immediate reach who can be counted on to maintain a calm and relatively objective attitude in emer- gency is to increase management's dependence on the sort of professional advice that management welcomes. And this is what the public relations worker in all fields is really re- tained for— whether on a company staff or as counsel. When the News Is Bad 253 Heavy responsibilities and myriads of detail overwhelm the most competent of executives at times. To become the recognized "thinker ahead," never too busy to consider the consequences, should be a primary public relations goal. Frequent reference is made to public relations as a "function of management." The term has meaning only when it is applied even in minor matters. This recognition comes not through insistence on it, but by earning it. FAULTY PRODUCTS To build good will on disaster takes some doing, yet it has been done again and again. A classic example is the experi- ence of Sterling Drug Inc., which, as is related in an in- formational pamphlet, "has grown not only in size but in its appreciation of its duty to the public." The hazards of drug manufacture, and the fact that the manu- facturer of products which are recommended for use by the public involves responsibility to the public, were dramatically illustrated in the Charles H. Fletcher Castoria incident, out of which the company emerged with increased prestige. Certain batches of Castoria unaccountably fell below standard and got on the market. It produced discomforting reactions when taken. Sterling felt that, having for years advised people to take the product as a good and useful medicine, it ought to advise against taking it when something was wrong. Accordingly Ster- ling immediately informed the public of that fact, through radio and the newspapers. It inserted an advertisement in every daily paper in the United States urging discontinuance of sale, warning the public against use and asking that all bottles be returned. Full refund was made on some five million bottles, which were destroyed. Charles H. Fletcher Castoria remained off the market for more than a year, yet public reaction to this evidence of 254 Publicity for Prestige and Profit manufacturer responsibility was so favorable that sales increased steadily month by month and by 1946 volume approached the highest level in recent times. This evidence of integrity is cited not out of a conviction that a corporate conscience is so rare, but to show how good public relations advice, plus the knowledge of the techniques of reaching the public quickly, justifies the term "a function of management." The advice in this case was rendered by the public relations counseling firm of Baldwin and Mermey, specialists in publicizing drug products. One of the most gratifying results of the incident was that a number of news- papers, sensing that the manufacturer was operating hon- estly in the public interest, ran the advertisements but refused to accept payment for them. What a tribute! The Sterling case was dramatic, but does not stand alone. Pyrene Manufacturing Company called in 500,000 hand fire extinguishers, when it was learned that some had been rendered useless by the presence of a corrosive in the liquid chemical contents. The expense ran into millions. Surely there must have been a temptation to take a chance that not very many of the extinguishers were faulty. But, following good public relations advice (the publicity and advertising firm of Gray and Rogers gave it), company officials did not hesitate to follow the course of right conduct. Despite all quality controls and checks, faulty products do reach the market in most lines of business. When the bitter fact is faced, and amends made, the manufacturer not only gains a renewal of faith in himself, but multiplies his prestige. Those examples come from relatively large concerns. The principle applies to smaller ones as well. A building-erection contractor discovered a fault at the base of a column, just When the News Is Bad 255 as concrete was to be poured over it. He held up the job, risked bearing a ruinous penalty for delay, tore out part of the building, and ordered the erection crew to stand by until a new and perfectly formed column could be fabricated at the shops. There was not one chance in a thousand that the faulty member would have given way. But the contractor said, "I like to sleep easy." It might be held that virtue is its own reward and that these illustrations of business integrity ought to be taken for granted. In the public relations view, it is not enough to do the right thing, though that is fundamental. It is equally needful to get credit for doing it. That is the heart of publicity and public relations, to let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works. GRIM COOPERATION No more competitive business exists than that of the air- lines. Yet when a series of tragic accidents brought about such public clamor that the Newark airport was closed, rival- ries were temporarily forgotten in an all-industry effort to mitigate the dangers of operation near cities. There had been no coordinated previous effort to better the worrisome setup, according to Tide, the public relations and advertising magazine: The catastrophes changed a large part of the situation. Gal- vanized into action, the aviation industry got together, formed the National Coordinating Committee. Everybody got on board: the scheduled as well as non-scheduled airlines, the pilots' union, the plane manufacturers, government representatives and others. A Public Relations Committee, headed up bv Walter H. Neff, United Air Lines' special assistant to the president, called in 256 Publicity for Prestige and Profit John Moynahan & Associates as PR counsel. In double-quick time a program designed to restore and foster confidence was drawn up, approved and under way. Theme of the plot: civil aviation must do everything possible to safeguard public welfare and interest. The mechanics of the program were quite simple. Moynahan and Neff became the press liaison team through which NATCC communicated. All press inquiries received by individual mem- bers of the over-all committee were referred to this team for handling so that a consistent story always resulted. Then a speakers' bureau was set up whose job it was to contact community leaders and tell them exactly what NATCC was doing to insure safety. Finally, a special complaint bureau was formed which handled all gripes about low-flying planes and noise. The bureau's phone number was widely publicized and residents were invited to call in when they were disturbed. On several counts this situation presents classic features. It illustrates industrial conscience and response to public demand. It shows promptness in organizing a public rela- tions program based on publicity and community relations. It indicates how company publicity people and public rela- tions counsel team up. It demonstrates that in public relations a disaster is not over when the dead are buried and the news printed; the continuing complaint bureau was a master stroke in providing public reassurance. Although new troubles obviously were gathering for the airlines, with the proposed use of jet-propelled planes in civil aviation, the basis had been set to deal with them, subject to the limits of human ingenuity. Significantly, the over-all committee recognized what segments of the indus- try had previously refused to face. "We're a noisy industry," Mr. Neff said. "That's the price of progress. All we can do When the News Is Bad 257 is to keep searching for further operating techniques and devices to lessen our noise nuisance." A SMALL-TOWN CRISIS Just as the airlines have to continue to live with a problem far from being solved, so do many individual companies in other fields. An honest and forthright attitude does wonders in enlisting civic leaders' sympathetic attitudes, even when they, too, are helpless to find a complete solution. The size of the company does not make a difference in such a situa- tion. If accepted as a neighbor with a problem on its hands, it will find sufferance. The following account from the Rockland County ( N.Y. ) Journal News illustrates how sincere yet adept handling won over the public after hostility had reached a point of crisis: Members of the Pearl River Civic Association and representa- tives of Lederle Laboratories met last night in a neighborly fashion at the high school to discuss a neighborhood problem, the odor coming from the pharmaceutical plant which has been a source of annoyance to many residents of the community. Representing Lederle were Raymond M. Nee, chief engineer, and Noel J. MacCarry, coordinator of community relations, who first explained the company's position and then answered ques- tions directed to them from members of the association. The review of the odor problem really divulged nothing new, being for the most part a reiteration by Lederle men of what most people already know, namely that the laboratory is spending money and using labor in a continuing effort to lick the smells that cause the annoyance. There was one thing rather novel, however, for last night the Lederle spokesman came out and told the civic group something that they probably were already aware of but which had not been voiced in so many words to them. 258 Publicity for Prestige and Profit "This town simply cannot have a plant producing 'wonder' drugs in the quality, amount and speed for which Lederle is known, without some odors," Mr. MacCarry declared. The civic group accepted this as a fact but considerable inter- est was shown later in whether all possible ways of eliminating or diverting the odor had been either tried or were in the process of being tried. Mr. MacCarry pointed out that neither he nor Mr. Nee was at the meeting "to make any promises of a complete solution to this problem. We can assure you, however, that the work toward reducing the types of odors will be continued without considera- tions of cost and labor. We have to give primary consideration to treatment and disposal of our sewage, with our secondary efforts being applied to the odors that go with such industrial waste. The two problems are closely allied but we are proceeding on the thesis that the health of the community as a whole and the demands of production have dictated the greater emphasis on waste disposal/' It is interesting to note that as a consequence of this meet- ing protests against the odors fell away to practically zero. KEEPING ONE'S SHIRT ON A cyclone is characterized, says Merriam-Webster, by high winds rotating about a calm center. There are times when a publicity man is paid for getting excited, and trans- mitting his vibrations to others, but in a period of trouble he should represent the low-pressure area. Tempers get short, nerves raw, underlying fears may make others sick or even hysterical. In any executive group facing bad tidings, one person, no matter what his rank, is sure to attract con- fidence because of his demeanor, steady voice, and, above all, ability to keep on thinking, his brain unchoked by emotions. When the News Is Bad 259 How does one attain the capacity for such wisdom? By practice. In small crises within management, it is possible to deserve a reputation as the chap who keeps his shirt on. Study those in administrative posts. You will discover at least one to whom you would naturally turn. The character- istic you admire in him may not be calmness at all. It may be vitality, forcefulness, imaginative synthesis, projection of a farseeing plan. Whatever it is, the fact that it attracts you to this man as one you could trust to lead indicates that you have at least a latent similar quality in your own make-up. It is this you should develop, for its possession will build your own con- fidence. No need to worry whether if emergency should strike you would be equal to it; calmness in crisis will come if you have faith in your own capacity to see any situation through. This confidence can best be founded on the one major trait you most admire in another and that you seize upon and adapt as your own. Many also find in religion a satisfactorv source of assurance and conduct during involv- ment in trouble. chapter 19 The Costs of Publicity Because of the subject, this chapter bristles with dollar signs and figures. Yet any formula or standard of publicity costs has to be taken with a grain of salt. Few statistical studies have been made public. Accounting firms that serve many mercantile and industrial companies confess to bewilderment at the hundred-and-one ways in which these costs are allocated and budgets set up for them. Where do publicity and public relations end, and adver- tising or industrial relations begin? Should publicity be con- sidered a permanent emergency operation, a sort of fire extinguisher that needs refilling from time to time? Or is it indeed a recognized function of top management, ranking with the legal department in prestige? The larger, older, and more experienced it is in handling the public, the more a company tends to stabilize its pub- licity and public relations departmental status. General Motors has a vice president in charge of public relations. In United States Steel Corporation a similar administrator is assistant to the chairman. Railroads and utilities have pop- ularized the title of assistant to the president, and a few hundred manufacturing, department-store, and service organ- izations have followed suit. Occasionally an outside counselor 260 The Costs of Publicity 261 is elected to the board of directors. Not infrequently a counselor sits with such boards though not a voting member. WHO HANDLES PUBLICITY In contrast, a study of eighty-five large companies made by Professor Nugent Wedding of the University of Illinois in 1952 revealed the following departments handling public relations and publicity: Per cent Advertising 28.8 Sales 25.0 Industrial relations and personnel 25.0 Publicity 13.5 Other 7.7 These eighty-five companies, including consumer- goods makers, industrial-goods makers, railroads and public util- ities, and banks, showed wide variety in arriving at budgets. Here are the eleven ways they went about determining appropriations: Per cent Objectives and task ( amount depends on job to be done ) . 25.9 No separate budget (included in advertising) 17.6 Historical (based on past years ) 14.1 Included in sales budget 8.2 Included in industrial relations 8.2 Historical (with provision for emergencies) 5.9 No budget (special appropriation for each job) 5.9 No budget (activities handled under other departments) . . 5.9 Arbitrarily determined 4.7 Based on future sales 2.4 Based on net sales 1.2 262 Publicity for Prestige and Profit When these figures were published in Printers' Ink maga- zine, many publicity people, proud of professional status, felt a chill go up their spines. And some counselors, disposed to place publicity lower in importance than the more eso- teric branches of their practice, were brought to earth when Professor Wedding disclosed that 100 per cent of the com- panies included publicity as their No. 1 public relations activity; 70.8 per cent also use employee publications; 68.2 per cent, reports to shareholders; 63.5 per cent, preparation of literature; 60 per cent, advertising; 47.1 per cent, com- munity work; 42.4 per cent, public speaking; and no other activity ranked as high as 40 per cent. Purely by coincidence, the top activities in Professor Wedding's list make up the main substance of this book, with the exception of advertising, a related but separate field. SALES AND ADVERTISING By the tax collector and other government officials, how- ever, publicity and public relations are lumped with adver- tising, on the grounds that all serve the same purpose in one way or another, promotion of good will and hence sales profits. The movement to consider advertising as a section of public relations, instead of the other way round, is worthy, is gaining recognition, and has logic on its side; but in official, accounting, and popular conception, advertising usually is given seniority. Moreover, it is convenient to base publicity budgets on advertising experience because of the body of excellent sta- tistical work done by advertising organizations. A useful study of industrial advertising budgets in 1952 by the Na- The Costs of Publicity 263 tional Industrial Advertisers Association shows that in about five hundred companies advertising budgets represented an average of 1.98 per cent of gross sales. Exclusive of salaries and wages, the average percentage of advertising expendi- tures that went for publicity was 2.6. This did not include borderline expenses that might be part advertising and part public relations, such as industrial exhibits and shows, 5.5 per cent; product literature, 19.9 per cent; and films, 1.5 per cent. These cross sections of industry percentages may be checked against the findings of Professor H. W. Hepner in his Effective Advertising, published in 1949, which gave the following: Number and kind Percentage of sales of manufacturers spent for advertising 8 motor vehicle 2.33 10 fruit and canning 5.41 10 soap 12.31 8 perfume and cosmetic 20.65 10 clothing 4.94 5 refrigeration and air conditioning 2.99 17 drug and medicine 15.12 Dr. Hepner's study was in consumer goods; the more recent one by the National Industrial Advertisers Association was based mostly on machinery, transport, and other indus- trial products and services. Percentages rise sharply the nearer one gets to the general public, as is to be expected. In the case of publicity, however, this does not necessarily hold. A department store doing ten-million-dollar volume a year may be expected to spend less on publicity than a hard-goods manufacturer with similar volume. The consumer- 264 Publicity for Prestige and Profit goods maker or distributor depends on a larger advertising expenditure, while the concern that sells to industry backs up its advertising in business papers, which charge much lower rates, with publicity, which normally costs very little. An advertising budget, often including publicity costs, is based upon need and competition, taxes, and perhaps past experience. During World War II house publications flourished in companies where defense products were being manufactured. The government allowed these companies to charge off a high percentage of the costs of internal publi- cations to advertising in the interest of national security through sustaining morale among employees. If a company can, from an accounting standpoint, deduct all or some of the cost of publicity or public relations from taxes, it may be inclined to raise the budget for this ac- tivity. For example, a publicity program for one year is budgeted at $35,000. The controller determines that from a tax position the program is actually costing only $9,000. Executives may then be willing to increase the budget by several thousand dollars. HOW BUDGETS BEGIN Ideally, public relations is a preventive type of business activity, but most programs originate as curative operations, and exact budget requirements are seldom determined with accuracy at the start. For example, a New England company found itself with a difficult labor problem. Management decided that the company must tell its side of the story. It simply wanted to communicate with the employees in the best possible manner. The Costs of Publicity 265 Someone suggested the possibility of a house publication. The president made the final decision. The industrial re- lations department head was instructed to hire an editor or a publicity man, or to engage outside counsel. The amount of money to be spent was thus based on per- sonal judgment, in the vein of what the company thought could be afforded. To some degree, the seriousness of the situation often helps to determine the budget. Immediate action was called for in this case, and the expense involved was not considered to be of paramount importance. It took a crisis for a long-existing need to be recognized. The plant paper was started. It was a success. Soon the new publicity man's activities were expanded and organized. He began to handle news releases, and wrote a speech for a vice president. The department was an actuality. Then it was up to the man in charge to prove his effectiveness and continue to enlarge the scope of his work. Within a year he was given the title of publicity director. But the beginnings were not based upon sales volume or factual financial anal- ysis. The need dictated the action; rationalization came afterward. An Ohio company found that a highly competitive product was getting a great deal of publicity. An executive noticed that the rival company appeared with annoying regularity in the trade journals, the big-circulation magazines and elsewhere. "How is it," he asked in an icy manner, "that the Fundlemart Lead Corporation is always in the papers?" An assistant suggested that he thought they had a publicitv department. "Well, then," the executive decided, "we had better have one, too." Here again, an arbitrary decision was reached because 266 Publicity for Prestige and Profit of need. Shortly thereafter, a man was hired at the going rate in the territory and soon was stealing some of Fundle- mart's publicity thunder. As curative medicine, publicity lends its talents in many ways. Its services are required for countless reasons. And its financial rewards are as varied as the jobs and tasks it performs. There is no set wage scale in the business, though publicity specialists charge consistent prices for similar as- signments. In advertising, the American Association of Advertising Agencies is a kind of governing board. It helped determine that 15 per cent is a fair and ethical fee for advertising ac- counts, and this is now universally accepted. There is no parallel organization in the publicity world. Seldom are budgets for publicity departments or activities alike. For example, community and institutional advertising (nonproduct) may be charged to the publicity department. Displays, press conferences, sales entertaining, and other company activities may be part of this budget. The chair- man, say, has lunch with two local bankers. The cost is fifteen dollars. The accounting department may charge this amount to publicity or public relations for the reason that it represents cultivation of good will or is an established com- pany practice. On the other hand, the budget may be so set up that no activities incurred outside the publicity department are di- rectly chargeable. These and a myriad of other items follow no standard procedure, but vary from one company to an- other. If the cost of promotional activity is to be evaluated for budgeting purposes, however, a consistent policy within the individual company is essential. The Costs of Publicity 267 These questions should be answered in planning a pub- licity budget: What are the publicity aims? What does the company wish to accomplish? Why does it need publicity? What are the reasons behind the program? Is this a curative or preventive need? What are the publics to be reached through public com- munication? Is the company interested principally in shareholders, em- ployees, the community, the suppliers, dealers, government, or other related publics? Should attention be focused on one, two, or three publics, or all of them? Where are these publics located and what are the best ways we can reach them? How much can the company afford to budget for publicity and its related activities? What can the company expect to get for its money? Is it more economical to hire staff for this work, or to engage a publicity agency? chapter 20 Planning a Publicity Budget A persuasive argument for employing outside counsel rather that setting up a publicity activity within a company is that it is at least as economical and may save a lot of bother; it is easier to pay a fee plus expenses billed than to handle the minutiae of a publicity office. Against this, however, must be posed the advantages of using present company employees part-time on publicity work. Of 1,465 house-magazine editors polled by the Inter- national Council of Industrial Editors, 52 per cent also had other company duties, and 60 per cent of these worked in de- partment other than publicity or public relations. The same ratio probably applies in most companies employing less than 5,000. Within the manufacturing or mercantile concern the ac- counting department usually can absorb what extra book- keeping is concerned with publicity with no undue strain. The following budget analysis is presented without pre- tensions, as a guide to usual publicity and public relations practices some of which may not be too familiar to the con- troller, more used to dealing with products than service. SALARIES The range is from $200 to $350 per month for a beginner through all gradations to a rare $4,000 or $5,000 per month 268 Planning a Publicity Budget 269 for vice-presidential or equivalent timber in the largest com- panies. A $2,000 figure for an assistant to president is above average; $1,000 is about minimum, as of 1953. Secretarial help is obtainable at the going rate in other departments. A girl assistant in training or a secretary- assistant ranks one or two notches higher in the scale. SPECIAL SERVICES Allowance should be made for hiring outside free-lance writers and artists, according to need, at $50 to $150 per day, or by the job from $150 up; photographic models at $10 per hour and up; messengers, etc., on tasks in the field, and emergency assistants of either gender at exhibits, press con- ferences, and other special events. TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH These expenses should be budgeted at least as high as in the sales or advertising departments. PHOTOGRAPHIC A first-rate industrial photographer charges $100 to $150 per day, entitling his customer to about 20 pictures. A short assignment costs $15 to $25, for three news-type pictures. Glossy prints range from 50 cents to $1.50 each, depending on quality and quantity. Publicity portraits need not cost more than $10 per subject. Photography, though expensive, is an indispensable publicity tool. In wide distributions, to small-city newspapers, paper or plastic matrices, at about 20 cents for a two-column, 4-inch picture, are a means of economy. 270 Publicity for Prestige and Profit MIMEOGRAPHING AND PRINTING It is advisable to release one mimeograph, multigraph, or multilith machine for exclusive publicity use, or to send this work to an outside shop. In the latter case, stencils should be cut in the publicity office, for economy. Charges for sten- cils, paper, and service are standard in most localities. Printing costs vary to an incredible extent, even in a single city. Elegance means expense, but is recommended in all printed materials bearing the company's name. A good rule of thumb is to order 10 per cent more of any printing job than distribution plans call for, but the budget should be watched. Unusable material is pure waste. POSTAGE Publicity work demands first-class or air-mail postage. In large organizations, special vigilance should be exercised to prevent the mail room from using unsealed envelopes or other penny-pinching devices, or from sending photographs without corrugated cardboard ( not thin chip-board ) backing. OFFICE EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES Desks, chairs, typewriters, filing cabinets, stationery, and the other usual appurtenances of a business office are re- quired; nothing out of the ordinary. The offices need never be lavishly furnished or decorated. TRAVEL AND ENTERTAINMENT Normal expense allowances are called for, paralleling those in the sales department. Careful records should be kept, with bills from hotels, railroad and airline stubs, etc. Planning a Publicity Budget 271 CLIPPING SERVICES Newspaper and trade-magazine clipping bureaus charge an average 10 cents per clipping; costs therefore mount with publicity success. Other services monitor radio programs for publicity items, at standardized fees. USE OF OUTSIDE COUNSEL On a multitude of business problems, consulting manage- ment-engineering agencies are retained by business firms. They advise on new markets, plant facilities, products, finance, nearly everything except law or public relations. Recognizing that different sets of talents and techniques are needed in those two fields, management consultants leave them alone. This is too bad, as regards public relations, for its practitioners, also, are advisers to management. Several large public relations agencies have moved nearer, by taking over employee relations. When the two types of counseling service become more mature, it is conceivable that some will merge their interests, giving management integrated, all- round attention. An often used argument for hiring publicity or public re- lations service instead of establishing a department within the company is that professional skills of an agency can save time, get fast results economically, and dispense with the need of providing office space and facilities, or office help with its concomitant health, insurance, pension, and other costly benefits. To provide equivalent service, the agencies believe, a fairly large internal staff would be needed. For the company of 500 or fewer emplovees, outside ser- 272 Publicity for Prestige and Profit vice may cost about half what a department would. A com- pany of from 500 to 5,000 employees needs at least one pub- licity man and a typist-assistant in its own offices. Large companies with more than one plant will be well served by having a publicity man and secretary-assistant in each, and if total payroll is near 10,000 employees, a seasoned de- partmental director at headquarters. Particularly in the first two or three years after establish- ment of such a department, outside counsel is often retained. Many great national companies, employing publicity and public relations staffs of from 20 to more than 100, still en- gage counsel for policy advice in top management. However, when a staff gets that big, it should be able to generate its own momentum, under a director of vice-presidental stature in the company. Most but not all reliable public relations and publicity counsel are members of the Public Relations Society of America, American Public Relations Association, Industrial Publicity Association, or other professional body. There is no legal restraint to prevent anyone who chooses to call him- self a public relations expert from hanging out his shingle. The business is beset with unscrupulous and phony operators, but serious effort is made by the respectable majority to adhere to and promote ethical standards. RANGE OF FEES Customarily the charges for counseling and service are made on a monthly -fee basis, ranging from $500 to $15,000 and up. In New York, where there is the greatest concentra- tion, a base fee of $1,000 per month is considered fairly average for a well-rounded program, with an additional Planning a Publicity Budget 273 charge for time spent and expenses. Elsewhere it is less, but elsewhere the practitioner is under the handicap of not being at the nerve center of national communications. News traditionally travels from East to West. All the press associations, television and radio networks, and most indus- trial and mass-circulation magazines are headquartered in New York. This is not to deprecate the completely adequate service that counsel in other cities render. In particular, two "chains" of public relations agencies, operating in many cities, have been formed, with joint publicity-placement fa- cilities in New York. The span of retainer fees may seem unusual, but the dif- ference lies in the scope of activities for the client and the size of the publicity or public relations organization. The biggest firms in the business maintain departments for press, radio, TV, magazine, booklet, and speech- writing activities. Payroll and overhead expenses are high. Every type of pub- licity service is immediately available with specialists at the beck and call of the client. Only those trade associations and companies with major resources can afford to hire such facili- ties; agencies of more modest size, with fewer personnel but equivalent competence, cost less for service because obvi- ously the scale of operations is somewhat reduced. Generally, no formal contract is signed, beyond an ex- change of letters betwen counsel and client. Nor is a term set for renewal, though a six-month trial period usually is specified. The arrangement continues until one party or the other gives either sixty or ninety days' notice. Even counsel whose charges run in the topmost brackets operate on this basis quite successfully. Many a relationship so begun has lasted twenty years or more. 274 Publicity for Prestige and Profit BASIS OF FEES Publicity departments of advertising agencies ( which may do dealer and other new-product publicity as part of the advertising service) keep records of the time spent by em- ployees on each account. This permits calculation of the sal- ary and labor cost to the agency. This cost is the basis of computation of overhead expense. To printing, art work, etc., advertising agencies normally add a 15 per cent handling charge. Public relations agencies more usually charge a set stand- by and supervision fee of $500 to $5,000 per month, repre- senting overhead and profit, and add charges for the actual time spent and at the actual salary rate of all personnel re- quired. When clients insist on a flat over-all monthly fee, the agency simply includes probable staff costs, leaving a reason- able margin. Because of the informal nature of the agree- ment, as mentioned above, adjustments can readily be made whenever the basis is proving unfair to either side. A small publicity agency in New York took on a client at $10,000 per year. Because of internal difficulties, the client was unable to give the agency much basis for publicity. At the end of three months, the arrangement was reviewed and the fee cut to $500 per month. In another case, when an agency provably increased sales volume for the client by about $200,000 through publicity, the fee was raised by agreement from $1,000 per month to $1,500. Some flexibility is needed in any public relations budget, because unforeseeable factors are so common. Expenditures in a given month may go far above the estimate. Too rigid Planning a Publicity Budget 275 a restriction may result in a job half done. If economy is needed, to stay within an annual appropriation, the needed adjustments can be made later; but an allowance for con- tingencies is a wise provision. In many successful operations, this is set at 10 per cent of the over-all annual appropriation. Reputable publicity agencies do not accept business on the basis of a rise in price of shares or other client holdings. The practice of basing charges on one-third to one-half what the printed space gained by publicity would have cost as adver- tising also is looked on as shyster business. It implies a com- plete misconception on the part of both client and agency of the nature and purpose of publicity. Short-term Fees Rates go up sharply for handling single campaigns of one to three months, such as a civic welcome, a testimonial din- ner, an association's annual convention, or a fund-raising cam- paign. In this class of business, called in the argot of publicitv a quickie or a one-shot, the theatrical press agent, trade- and convention-show publicist, or fund expert is more at home than the typical business or industrial publicity agencv. However, if the head of a client company has a pet organi- zation or philanthropy, he probably will ask his regular agency to handle the work. In fund raising, the standard charge is a percentage of the goal, no matter how much is raised or the time spent. All phases of the drive or campaign are handled by one agencv. For other quickies, an acceptable formula is to double the normal fee and all charges except out-of-pocket. A counselor should remember his own public relations in handling charity drives. He is a citizen as well as a profes- 276 Publicity for Prestige and Profit sional man. He should be willing to a reasonable extent to donate his services and those of his organization, when the philanthropy is of national scope or is located in his own town or city. Obvious limits must be set to this loan of time and talent, but bread cast on the waters has a way of re- turning spread with molasses. One important precaution should be taken, however. Do not take the bread out of the mouth of another counselor who makes his living in service to philanthropic institutions. OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES The base fee charged by public relations counseling agen- cies does not include out-of-pocket expenses, such as those for travel, telephone, art work, postage, printing, meals in certain instances, and entertaining. When money is expended in behalf of the client, he is billed at the end of each month. The advertising practice of adding 15 per cent handling charge is not commonly followed by public relations counsel. A publicity counsel traveled from New York City to Bos- ton, to call on New England newspaper editors. The client was to be charged for travel, to and from New York; meals while the publicity man was away from home; the cost of a hotel room; taxi, bus, and subway fares in Boston; telephone calls; entertaining of the editors; tips to porters and waiters and for other small services. In other words, the publicity man spent a certain amount of money out of his own pocket, and since it was all in the interest of the client, he charged it all up. A monthly retainer entails certain specified or implied obligations on the part of the publicity counsel. He may agree to perform certain tasks for a stated fee. These may Planning a Publicity Budget 277 include writing speeches, handling newspaper, radio, and TV contacts, putting on a trade show, organizing an anniver- sary program. His time and talent are worth a certain amount. He may even agree to spend a definite number of hours on the account. Beyond this, as unforeseen opportuni- ties to obtain publicity arise, he is expected to exploit them. A reputable publicity counsel never guarantees publica- tion of material in any newspaper or magazine, or promises free time on a TV or radio show. The well-liked professional publicity man hopes in many ways to increase the prestige of his client and tries in an ethical manner to get newsaper publicity and perform other tasks according to agreement, but he cannot with honesty guarantee space or time that he does not control. chapter 21 Toward Maturity Most children and many adults who lack the easy self-as- surance and confidence of the truly mature tend to be boast- ful. "My Daddy and General Eisenhower won the war," says the ten-year-old, and we smile, recognizing that this is but the half-truth of a child. "That AP break means the entire country knows about our new product," says the would-be publicity man. Nobody believes him for a minute, for his statement is childishly exaggerated. No, not nobody. The claims made for publicity results do impress those who are indifferent, uninitiated, or shallow. Much talk is made about the professional standing of public relations practitioners and why they deserve status with the engineer, the attorney, and the physician. But an engineer has a bridge, say, to show for his effort; the lawyer won his case; the physician restored his patient to health. How can the publicist prove to the skeptical that he, too, is a pro- fessional? A publicity article, based on scientific research and ap- pearing in The New York Times, brought about a $200,000 apparatus sale. One reader of the Sunday Times, among its 1,300,000, was more important, in that instance, than all the rest. A "Speaking of Pictures" feature in Life magazine, used by a salesman, clinched a contract for night-lighting an 278 Toward Maturity 279 athletic field. Six members of a city council who reacted to that publicity were worth more to the lighting manufacturer than all the rest of Life's 5,200,000 readers. A philanthropic organization paid a publicity worker $5,000 to write a book. It was elegantly illustrated, printed, and bound— 100 copies only. Copy No. 26 resulted in a contribution of $250,000. The claim is commonly made that publicity, being in- tangible, is not really measurable, and therefore the company that pays for it should not expect to relate it to anything but vague feelings of virtue and good will. At the risk of heresy, the present writers believe that results, clearly dem- onstrated, are the only justification for a publicity or public relations program. True, there need not always be a dollar sign to show; but certainly something of real value. A NEW-PRODUCT STORY A chemical manufacturer hired a five-man publicity bu- reau at $l,000-per-month fee, including time charges, and a $l,000-per-month allowance for out-of-pocket expense, to publicize a seasonal product over a six-month trial period, with the usual provision of termination after that, on ninety days' notice by either party. Because the sales program had been tardily determined, the publicity firm was given only forty-eight hours, instead of the usual two weeks, in which to stage a press conference and get publicity started. Telegrams of invitation costing $150 total were sent to editors of newspapers, wire services, feature syndicates, business and general magazines, and radio stations. There was nothing to be televised, so TV was left out. At the press conference held at a New York hotel, the 280 Publicity for Prestige and Profit scientist who had developed the product gave a ten-minute talk, showed lantern slides of the research, and answered questions. A typical one and one-half page "handout" re- lease was distributed to the twenty-five editors and writers who attended, and copies were sent to the others invited who could not come. The cost of the press conference was $275, with an additional $50 for later distribution. All the wire services, four metropolitan newspapers, Time, Business Week, and fourteen business and general magazines carried the publicity, as did one national and one regional radio network. The story, appearing in Retailing Daily, brought about a telephone call from the purchasing agent of a national variety-store chain, who bought half the com- pany's output for the season. Other inquiries, directly re- sulting from the publicity, compelled the manufacturer to increase his anticipated output. Many counselors and public relations executives of com- panies would have considered this true national coverage and would have assured the company or client that he had swept the country. The realistic counselors in this case, how- ever, turned in a confidential report from which the follow- ing excerpt is taken by permission: The clipping services sent us 82 clippings of the wire service story, representing a newspaper circulation of approximately 19,500,000. (See tabular report for clippings from all sources.) We do not believe the usual claim of four readers for each pub- lication justified. If 10 per cent of the readers saw this story, you are fortunate; if 5 per cent remembered it, that would be phe- nomenal (in our book) and if 1 per cent went to a store and asked for the product, your projected production capacity would be sold out. To tell you the truth, neither we nor anybody else really Toward Maturity 281 knows what this story did. There is a fable in our business that clipping bureaus turn up only 15 to 20 per cent of stories actually published. Who can prove that? We certainly can't. It would obviously be too expensive for you to take on the task of really investigating how many people read and remember publicity stories on products. The wire service break was won- derful, the No. 1 publicity outlet in the country. We only wish we knew how many of your inquiries are traceable to it. The publicity firm in its report advised following up the first release with distributions of new material to 487 radio commentators, 176 metropolitan and 1,600 smaller dailies, and 4,500 weeklies, at a cost, including mats, of $1,475. Again, this commendable effort was bound to bring some results, but nobody was in position to demonstrate just how extensive they were. FIGURES DON'T LIE, BUT . . . There is need for the public relations profession to lay down a true basis of measurement of its own work. In mar- keting and advertising, great strides have been taken; in politics, the score is less impressive, but an effort is made. Publicity people should not be content to show scrapbooks and radio reports of noses counted to their clients, but should make a grown-up and not superficial attempt to back up publicity with evaluation. If clipping bureaus are inadequate, their service should be supplemented. Here is a worth-while research project going begging. Meanwhile, conservative reports on results obtained are more convincing than the use of exaggeration. Management of a company with twenty-three plants challenged the figures of its own publicity department. These showed astronomical 282 Publicity for Prestige and Profit circulation of publicity at a time when sales were off. The figures did not stand up under analysis. No deliberate de- ception was involved, but the total circulation of newspapers and magazine in which publicity appeared had been added together. In a group of farm magazines with several regional editions, for example, the total circulation for all was re- ported, though one clipping in one regional edition was its only support. Many metropolitan papers run from three to ten editions daily. A clipping does not necessarily tell the truth about how many persons were exposed to the story, for the story may have been printed in a bulldog edition and been dropped out later. A national radio network may have 250 stations for a national broadcast, commercially sponsored, but drop to 180 for its own sustaining program on which a publicity re- lease was used. If returns tend to indicate that a single story reached more people than there are of reading age in the United States, the publicity man should be suspicious. PRESTIGE IN THE COMPANY A promising young publicity man was advised by his superior to start wearing a hat to and from his office. Puzzled, the youth asked, "Do you mean I should take myself more seriously?" The senior man replied, "No, you should take your work more seriously, and let top-management men see that you regard your stature in the company as being com- parable to that of other executives." In the sedate Wall Street offices where this interchange Toward Maturity 283 occurred, the point was well-taken. Working on the same floor with administrative officers of the company, the able young man had been as invisible as an office boy. By giving himself a more mature appearance, more in keeping (in management's view) with his duties and status, he rose in its estimation. To many, such an atmosphere would seem absurdly stuffy and pompous. So it would be in a Western city, or a small town where the president of the company may be Jim or Joe to the porter and the elevator man. The point of complying with the mores of a particular company is that it is a rapid and easy way to identify oneself with the group to which one considers one belongs. Business publicity as presently practiced is only about thirty years old. It still has to make its way into the real and unreserved confidence of most top managements, especially in small and medium-sized companies. Though given credit for vigor and imagination, its practitioners are too seldom thought of as executives who should sit at the council table when policy decisions are in the making. This reserve toward publicity personnel may be mostly top management's fault; it may be due to jealousy of preroga- tives partly, to resistance to change, and to other psycho- logical factors— none of which alters the fact that public relations often is treated like a permanent guest, not a mem- ber of the inner family. And it may be due to the fact that publicity men have not given their full measure of ability to the jobs at hand. How can this be changed in the individual business? It is not impossible. Again in danger of heresy, the present writers 284 Publicity for Prestige and Profit think it can be done by the development of a nonaggressive attitude, holding firm on basic principles, but not necessarily on procedures. In one company which appropriates $500,000 per year for public relations, of which $100,000 goes for press relations (publicity), the heads of five divisions nevertheless run spe- cial publicity projects as they wish, without reference to the PR head, and charge the expense to divisional sales. Very bad, 'tis true, by the rule book. Actually, by acceding to long-established prerogatives and declining to stand on his rights, the PR head permits the divisional vice presidents to retain the autonomy of their own domains, and in return not one of them protests his annual assessment for the over- all public relations budget. The real merit gained is the demonstration that the PR head knows how to handle a delicate situation. His boss, the chairman, stood ready at any time to back him up if he in- sisted on running all publicity matters in all divisions— but was relieved to see him act like a "company man," sensitive to the nuances of management. In time, the chairman expects the original plan of an all-company integrated program to be carried out to the last detail. For this he can afford to wait a few years; and he rejoiced that his PR head also knows patience and self-control. Another means of coming closer to the council table is the exercise of unusual courtesy in human relations. In one year, a regional publicity man had his budget doubled. Other factors entered in, but his unusual progress was at least stimulated by these five thoughtful intracompany acts: When an engineer was promoted, copies of the publicity release went to his college and fraternity papers, both of Toward Maturity 285 which printed it. Time-consuming work for microscopic pub- lics, but never forgotten by the engineer. Instead of clippings being routed to the fifteen offices in his region, involving days and weeks, photostatic copies were made, and all offices received all important regional pub- licity at the same time, once a week. After three months on the job, the regional publicity man wrote a three-page outline of what he was trying to accom- plish, and sent copies to the fifteen offices he served. True, he had already explained, but this was a reminder that the conversations had not been idle ones. He requested fifteen extra copies of all news releases from company headquarters, routing them to his points of contact. (Before long, regional executives were calling him for in- formation on general company affairs.) The fifth "act" was to be cautious about offering sugges- tions. The too facile proposal, even if sound, can impair the standing of any newcomer. Perhaps these small items should be obvious to anyone. But the publicity man did get his budget doubled. And there was no reserve toward him at the end of his first year, in the highest echelons to which he had access. PRESTIGE FOR COUNSEL It is more difficult for outside public relations counsel to gain a place in policy making, even on public relations mat- ters. A few counselors of stature are invited to do so, how- ever; usually after a long period of intimate acquaintance with company affairs. Among the pioneers in counseling top management is John W. Hill, president of Hill & Knowlton, Inc., whose firm's relationship with the Avco Manufacturing 286 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Corporation was thus described in the Reports of the Na- tional Industrial Conference Board: At the corporate level, public relations activities are carried out by public relations counsel retained by Avco. The counsel's chief executive officer sits with the Avco board of directors at its meetings, and a vice president of the counseling firm is an ex- officio member of the corporation's public relations committee. The latter also carries the title of public relations director for Avco, with a position on the corporate organization chart show- ing a direct line to the president and chief executive officer. ADVICE FROM AN ALLY When the treasurer or controller sits in on a public rela- tions meeting, a distinct gain is made by the publicity execu- tive or outside counsel. The financial man may stay in the background, having little to say about a rather unfamiliar subject; but nobody in the business organization sees the chief exexcutive officer more frequently or is listened to more intently. It is a misconception to think of the treasurer or controller as colorless and retiring, no matter what his de- meanor, for when the occasion comes to praise or criticize, he knows both words and tune. His comments on a front-page story or a prize-winning annual report are made from a different point of view from any other. They may sound negative at times, for caution has been bred into him. He does not bet his bottom dollar on the success of any proposal— or the company's bottom dollar. Yet he does know how to say yes. He is more likely to do so if he has been given a complete background on the proposal. That is why his presence in conference is so important to the ambitious publicity executive desirous of gaming recognition of his department's own role in top management. Toward Maturity 287 Sales, production, engineering, and research heads per- force are in continuous contact with the treasurer or con- troller, as a matter of ordinary routine. This is not so likely to be true of public relations, whether managed inside or outside the firm. There is a vacuum here, which will be filled with information and background either from its source, or after being filtered through the minds of others, who may not always be friendly or sympathetic to public relations aims. In their interchanges with the financial executives, other top-management people often seek more than approval of expenditures, proposed or historical. They ask advice, too. How often does a public relations head or counsel sit down with a company treasurer for advice? Is he not more in- clined to consider that advice is his own stock in trade, a more or less exclusive commodity with him? This is not a matter of currying favor, but of getting advice that is worth while, practical, and usable. One publicity counselor was amazed at the analytical review he obtained, through a luncheon chat with a client company's treasurer. The criticisms, given with amenity, were directed toward the work of a former counselor, but the new one proved bright enough to use them as a guide in his own organiza- tion, on all his accounts. The ex-counselor had brought on a crisis by a premature request that he be invited to board meetings. Asked his opinion, the treasurer had produced a score sheet: The counsel had spent nearly all the appropriation, yet carried out only three-fourths of proposed projects. He ex- plained after the fact that this was due to lack of cooperation in divisions. He should have kept top management informed 288 Publicity for Prestige and Profit of the situation continuously but weakly refrained so as not to "cause trouble." To the treasurer, this was evidence that the counsel did not know how to handle people. He entertained company officials too much. Did he take editors and others out on a similar scale? If so, no explana- tion of the need for lavishness had been forthcoming. Photographic, printing, and mimeographing bills seemed high. Why were fifty prints needed of a picture of a winner of a suggestion award? There may have been a valid ex- planation, but none was proffered. No bill was rendered for a small printing job. The explana- tion, upon inquiry: "Oh, we absorbed that; too small to charge." This item disturbed the treasurer, he said, more than an overcharge. To him it indicated poor practice, and the generosity was not appreciated. Telephone bills seemed disproportionate. The treasurer ad- mittedly had no way of knowing. But he suspected the counsel transacted most business at his desk, did a minimum of leg work. No subway or bus fares ever were charged, only taxis. The treasurer recalled that Bernard Baruch is said to travel by subway. With a smile, he said that he did, too. In accounting for travel, no hotel bills or railroad stubs were presented. "Of course he was not in the company, so did not have to observe company rules," the treasurer con- ceded dryly. There was no accusation of fraud, padding bills or expense accounts, only a feeling of vagueness, due entirely to lack of careful explanations. In the treasurer's view, the ex- counsel had "acted like an outsider, not a zealous guardian of company money." That is why his opinion was negative, Toward Maturity 289 when he was asked whether the counselor should have a voice on policy matters in board meetings. PRESTIGE AND PUBLICITY The foregoing sections of this chapter deal with internal matters of conduct and procedure among publicity and pub- lic relations people. Their aim is to show ways of perfecting performance. Now it should be added that this performance, far from perfect, yet is on the whole of such caliber as to justify the claim of public relations and its basic component, publicity, to be considered as a serious, substantial profes- sional service. By the use of publicity and the other public relations techniques, a business or industrial company, government agency on any level, philanthropic or welfare institution, or college or university can definitely enhance prestige with the public. We say definitely, and believe we have proved it in this book. Planned news in the press, with its extrapolations into other media and through an engaging variety of activities, makes a sound, permanent contribution to the American economy. It is the surest means by which an organization can justify its right to exist. With prestige— weight or influ- ence derived from past success— the further right to leader- ship can be exercised. And prestige is to be gained through publicity. Bibliography BOOKS FOR DAILY REFERENCE Blue Book of Magazine Writers, Central Feature News, Inc., New York. Broadcasting Yearbook and Telecasting Yearbook, Broadcasting Publications, New York. Directory of House Organs, Printers' Ink Publishing Co., New York. Directory of Newspapers and Periodicals, N. W. Ayer & Son., Inc., Philadelphia. Editorial Directory (Farm, Business, and Consumer Editions), Galub Publishing Co., New York. Industrial Relations Handbook, Dartnell Corp., Chicago. International Yearbook, Editor and Publisher, New York. Literary Market Place, R. R. Bowker Company, New York. Nations Leading House Magazines, Gebbie Press, New York. Publicity Checker, Bacon's Clipping Bureau, Chicago. Rates and Data (Newspaper, Consumer, Business, Radio, and Television Editions), Standard Rate and Data, Inc., Evanston, 111. UlricKs Periodicals Directory (Foreign, Business, and General Periodicals), R. R. Bowker Company, New York. Working Press of the Nation, Farrell Publishing Co., New York. 101 USEFUL BOOKS Agricultural and Technical Journalism, Rodney Fox; Prentice- Hall, 1952. 291 292 Publicity for Prestige and Profit America at the Movies, M. F. Thorp; Yale University Pi ess, 1939. American Journalism, Julien Elfenbein; Harper, 1937. Art of Useful Writing, Walter B. Pitkin; McGraw-Hill, 1940. Blueprint for Public Relations, Plackard and Blackmon; McGraw- Hill, 1947. Building a Popular Movement, Harold Levy; Russell Sage Foundation, 1944. Business Finds Its Voice, S. H. Walker; Harper, 1938. Business Journalism, Julien Elfenbein; Harper, 1937. Careers in Public Relations, Averill Broughton; Dutton, 1943. Clear Writing for Easy Reading, Norman G. Shidle; McGraw- Hill, 1951. Communications in Modern Society, Wilbur Schramm; University of Illinois Press, 1948. Educational Publicity, Benjamin Fine; Harper, 1943. Effective Advertising, H. W. Hepner; McGraw-Hill, 1949. Effective Public Relations, Cutlip and Center; Prentice-Hall, 1952. Employees Are People, Harry K. Tootle; McGraw-Hill, 1947. Films in Business and Industry, Henry C. Gipson; McGraw-Hill, 1947. Fundamentals of Top Management, Ralph C. Davis; Harper, 1951. Gauging Public Opinion, Hadley Cantril; Princeton University Press, 1944. Getting Results from Suggestion Systems, Herman W. Seinwerth; McGraw-Hill, 1948. Government Publicity, J. L. McCamy; University of Chicago Press, 1939. Guide to Public Opinion Polls, George Gallup; Princeton Uni- versity Press, 1948. How to Become Well Known, H. F. Woods; Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1947. How to Conduct Consumer and Opinion Research, A. B. Blanken- ship; Harper, 1946. How to Develop Profitable Ideas, O. F. Reiss; Prentice-Hall, 1945. Bibliography 293 How to Edit an Employee Publication, Garth Bentley; Harper, 1944. How to Get Publicity, Milton Wright; McGraw-Hill, 1935. How to Interpret Social Welfare, H. C. Baker; Russell Sage Foundation, 1947. How to Interview, Bingham and Moore; Harper, 1941. How to Make Publicity Work, J. R. Ramsberger; Reynal & Hitch- cock, Inc., 1948. How to Take Industrial Photographs, Zielke and Beezley; McGraw-Hill, 1948. How to Talk With People, Irving J. Lee; Harper, 1952. How to Use Pictorial Statistics, Rudolph Modley; Harper, 1937. How We Advertised America, George Creel; Harper, 1920. Human Nature and Management, Ordway Tead; McGraw-Hill, 1947. Human Relations in Action, C. C. Thomason; Prentice-Hall, 1947. Human Relations in Industry, Burleigh Gardner; Irwin, 1950. Interpreting the Church through Press and Radio, R. E. Wolseley; Muhlenberg, 1951. Language in Thought and Action, S. I. Hayakawa; Har court, Brace, 1949. Let's Be Human, John L. Beckley; Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1947. Magazine World, R. E. Wolseley; Prentice-Hall, 1951. Magazines in The United States, J. M. Wood; Ronald, 1949. Newspaper and Society, Bird and Merwin; Prentice-Hall, 1950. Newspaperman and the Law, Walter A. Steigleman; W. C. Brown, 1950. Newsroom Problems and Policies, Curtis D. MacDougall; Mac- millan, 1941. Opportunities in Public Relations, Shepard Henkin; Vocational Guidance Manuals, 1951. Personnel Management and Industrial Relations, Dale Yoder; McGraw-Hill, 1948. Pictorial Journalism, Vitray and Mills; McGraw-Hill, 1939. Planned Industrial Publicity, George Black; Putman, Chicago, 1952. 294 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Plans of Men, Leonard W. Doob; Yale University Press, 1940. Practical Public Relations, Harlow and Black; Harper, 1952. Principles of Newspaper Management, J. E. Pollard; McGraw- Hill, 1937. Print, Radio and Film in a Democracy, Douglas Waples; Univer- sity of Chicago Press, 1942. Printing and Promotion Handbook, Melcher and Larrick; McGraw-Hill, 1949. Profitable Publicity, Henry F. Woods; Dorset House, 1941. Propaganda and Public Opinion in War and the Modern World, R. D. Casey; Random House, 1940. Propaganda, Communication and Public Opinion, Smith, Laswell, and Casey; Princeton University Press, 1946. Propaganda: Its Psychology and Technique, Leonard Doob; Holt, 1935. Psychology of Rumor, Allport and Postman; Holt, 1947. Publicity— How to Plan, Produce and Place It, Herbert M. Baus; Harper, 1942. Publicity Primer, Marie D. Laizeaux; H. W. Wilson, 1945. Public Opinion, J. W. Albig; McGraw-Hill, 1939. Public Relations, Edward L. Bernays; University of Oklahoma Press, 1952. Public Relations and American Democracy, J. A. R. Pimlott; Princeton University Press, 1951. Public Relations: A Program for Colleges and Universities, W. Emerson Reck; Harper, 1946. Public Relations at Work, Herbert M. Baus; Harper, 1952. Public Relations for Churches, Stewart Harral; Abingdon-Cokes- bury, 1945. Public Relations for Higher Education, Stewart Harral; University of Oklahoma Press, 1942. Public Relations for Retailers, Thomas Mahoney; Macmillan, 1949. Public Relations Handbook, Philip H. Lesly; Prentice-Hall, 1950. Public Relations in Action, Philip H. Lesly; Ziff-Davis, 1945. Bibliography 295 Public Relations in Management, Wright and Christian; McGraw- Hill, 1949. Public Relations in the Local Community, Louis B. Lundborg; Harper, 1950. Public Relations in War and Peace, Rex Harlow; Harper, 1942. Public Relations Principles and Problems, B. R. Canfield; Irwin, 1952. Public Relations: Principles and Procedures, Sills and Lesly; Irwin, 1945. Radio and the Printed Page, Paul F. Lazarsfeld; Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1940. Radio Broadcasting, Grenville Kleiser; Funk, 1935. Radio News Writing and Editing, Carl Warren; Harper, 1947. Radio: The Fifth Estate, J. C. Waller; Houghton Mifflin, 1946. Reporter and The News, Porter and Luxon; Appleton-Century- Crofts, 1935. Research Methods in Public Administration, J. M. Pfiffner; Ronald, 1940. Shareholder Relations Manual, Weston Smith; Financial World, 1953. Sharing Information With Employees, A. R. Heron; Stanford University Press, 1942. Shifts in Public Relations, Dr. N. S. B. Gras; Boston Business His- torical Society, 1945. Showmanship in Public Speaking, Edward J. Hegarty; McGraw- Hill, 1952. So Youre Publicity Chairman, Frances Fiske; McGraw-Hill, 1940. Solving Public Relations Problems, Verne Burnett; Forbes, 1952. Speak Up, Management, Newcomb and Sammons; Funk, 1951. Successful Employee Publication, Bicklen and Breth; McGraw- Hill, 1945. Technique of Handling People, Laird and Laird; McGraw-Hill, 1943. Technique of the Picture Story, Mich and Eberman; McGraw- Hill, 1945. 296 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Tested Public Relations for Schools, Stewart Harral; University of Oklahoma Press, 1952. Tyranny of Words, Stuart Chase; Harcourt, Brace, 1938. Where to Sell Magazine Articles, Allard and Lin; W. C. Brown, 1948. Words into Type, Skillin and Gay; Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1948. Words That Won the War, J. R. Mock; Princeton University Press, 1939. Writers Handbook, A. S. Burack; The Writer, 1941. Writing and Selling Feature Articles, Helen Patterson; Prentice- Hall, 1949. Writing for Love or Money, Norman Cousins; Longmans, 1949. Writing for the Business Press, Arthur Wimer; W. C. Brown, 1950. Your Public Relations, Griswold; Funk, 1948. Index Accidents, reports of, 249-251, 255- 256 Acme Newspictures, 45 Advertising, percentage of sales spent for, 262-264 as publicity, 3-5, 260 Air Reduction Company, 171 Airline disasters, reports of, 255-256 Aluminum Company of America, 230 American Association of Advertising Agencies, 266 American Association of Nurserymen, 245 American Business, 53 American Druggist, 53 American Home, 54 American Institute of Steel Construc- tion, 155 American Iron and Steel Institute, 176, 210, 217, 229 American Legion Magazine, 59 American Lumberman, 53 American Machinist, 53 American Press Association, 47 American Public Relations Associa- tion, 272 American Viscose Corporation, 66 American Weekly, 48-49 Anniversaries, publicity on, 215 Appropriations for publicity, 261-262 Argosy, 59 Articles, audience for, 104 authors of, 99-103 feature, 96-97, 102-103 Articles, outlines of, 104 placement of, 104-105 speeches as, 103-104 style of, 98-99 topics for, 98 use of, 106-107 Associated Press, The, 38, 41, 109 Photo Service, 45 Audience, for articles, 104 for company magazines, 188-189 for speeches, 77-82 radio, 77-79 television, 79 Authors, company, 99-101 outside, 102-103 spokesmen as, 101-102 Avco Manufacturing Company, 196, 285, 286 Ayer, N. W., & Son, 104 B Baldwin and Mermey, 254 Barrington Associates, Inc., 83 Better Homes and Gardens, 54 Black Star photo agency, 45 Blackmon, Hendley, 105 Books, company, 64-65 industrial, 66-68 reference, 68 Booth Newspapers, 40 Borden Company, The, 217, 236, 237, 240 Branch plants as sources, 30-33 Brochures (see Pamphlets) Buck, Wendell, 215 297 298 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Budget, and advertising, 262-264 analysis of, 268-277 planning, 267, 268 publicity value of, 264-265 Business books, 67 Business magazines, 52-53 Business Week, 52, 179, 280 new product do's and don'ts, 52 Cameras, 113-114 (See also Photography) Canadian National Railways, 84 Central Press Association, 44 Chains, newspaper, 40-41 Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate, 44 Chilcott Laboratories, 226 Chrysler, Walter P., 206 Civil Engineering, 53 Clipping services, cost of, 271 Cochran, Negley D., 212 Collier's, 59, 102 Community relations, 217-248 benefits of local industries, 224- 226 contributions to welfare projects, 244-246 and labor policies, 226-227 of large companies, 218-219 newpapers in, 230-233 objectives of, 221-224 open house, 238-240 participation in local activities, 240-246 and political influence, 228-229 and pollution by factories, 207, 257-258 prejudices overcome by, 224-229 of small companies, 219-221 television and radio in, 233 visits to plants, 233-240 Company authors, 99-101 Company books, 64-66 Company magazines, 178-189 audience for, 188-189 contents of, 183-186 for customers, 186-188 design of, 181-183 purpose of, 179-180, 186 Cooperative exhibits, 201-202 Cosmopolitan, 213 Costs of publicity, 260-267 appropriations for, 261-262 percentage spent for, 262-264 ( See also Budget ) Counsel, budget provision for, 271- 277 fees of, 272-276 prestige for, 285-286 use of, 271-272 Country Gentleman, 55 Crosley, The Voice of, 176 Current Events, 58 De Chant, John W., 231, 250 Denver Post, 48 Department heads, 19-20 Des Moines Register-Tribune Syndi- cate, 44 Displays (see Exhibits) Division heads, 19-20 Dmitri, Ivan, 109 Dow-Jones financial news service, 38, 43,44 Dun's Review, 53 Du Pont de Nemours, E. I., & Com- pany, 66 E Editors, of general magazines, 60-62 of household magazines, 54-55 of newspapers, 38-40 Educational pamphlets, 173-175 Index 299 Educational relationships, 234, 243- 244 Elks Magazine, 59 Employee-information manuals, 175- 177 Employee magazines (see Company magazines ) Engineering departments as sources, 22-24 Esquire, 59 Executives as sources, 17-20 Exhibits, 190-203 cooperative, 201-202 press shows, 194-195 trade shows, 197-199 traveling, 200 window and lobby, 202-203 Expenses (see Budget; Costs of pub- licity ) Factories, branch, 30-33 community relations of (see Com- munity relations) publicity for, 26-28, 207-211 visits to, 233-240 Factory Management and Mainte- nance, 53 Facts pamphlets (see Pamphlets) Farm Journal, 55 Farm magazines, 55-57 Faulty products, 253-255 Feature and photo services, 44-45 Fees in public relations, basis of, 274-276 range of, 272-273 Filmstrips, 156-160 Financial World, 53, 245, 247 Forbes, 53 Fountain, Joe H., 84 Gannett Newspapers, 40 General Electric Company, 60, 218, 219, 223 General Motors Corporation, 144, 260 Ghost writing, 99-101 Gipson, Henry Clay, 154 Good Housekeeping, 54 Gray and Rodgers, 254 Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Com- pany, 187 H Hammond Bag and Paper Company, 229 Harding College, 152 Harvard Business Review, 53 Hearst Newspapers, 40, 41, 48 Hepner, H. W., 263 Hibbs, Benjamin, 60 Hill, John W., 285 Hill & Knowlton, Inc., 186, 243, 285 Historical publicity, 206-216 for companies, 207-212 photographs for, 122-123 for products, 213-214 time capsule, 199-200 House Magazine Institute, 186 House magazines (see Company magazines ) Household magazines, 53-55 Hudson's Bay Company, The, 187 Illustrations, 124-125 (See also Photographs) Industrial books, 66-68 Industrial magazines, 53 Industrial Publicity Association, 17:!. Industry and publicity, 6-8 International Business Machines Cor- poration, 1S7 International News Photos, 45 300 Publicity for Prestige and Profit International News Service, The, 38, 41 Interviewing, technique of, 12-16 Ironworks, first, at Saugus, Mass., 144, 210 J Jackson, Merrick T., 179 Johns-Manville Corporation, 234- 236 Jossel, Leonard, 171 Judson Pacific-Murphy Corporation, 210 Kaufmann, M. R., 171 King Features Syndicate, 44 Kiwanian Magazine, 59 Labor policies in community rela- tions, 226-227 Labor troubles, reports of, 251-252 Ladies' Home Journal, 54 Lamp, The, 178 Lederle Laboratories Division, 228, 257 Lehigh Structural Steel Company, 225, 226 house magazine of, 185 Letters, 36-37 Lewis, Don E., 229 Life, 178 Liggett, Louis K., 212 Lobby displays, 202-203 M MacCarry, Noel J., 228, 257 McCreery, Otis C, 230 Magazine articles (see Articles) Magazines, business, industrial, and technical, 52-53 Magazines, company (see Company magazines ) employee and customer, 59 farm, 55-57 general, 59-63 household, 53-55 men's, 59 photographs for, 121-122 picture, 63 religious, 57-58 student, 58 Major branch of company, 31 Manhattan Life Insurance Company, 215 Manuals, information, 175-177 (See also Pamphlets) Mechanix Illustrated, 59 Media, definition of, 36 Metropolitan Life Insurance Com- pany, 217 survey of house magazines by, 183-184 Ministers, survey of, 222 Minor unit of company, 31 Missouri Publishers Association, 47 Monsanto Chemical Company, 249 Motion pictures, 142-163 distribution of, 160-162 fictional, 149-150, 155 institutional publicity, 150-153 newsreels, 145-149 producers of, 153-154 as publicity medium, 162-163 script for, 156 technical adviser for, 156-157 on television, 143-145 Moynahan, John, and Associates, 250 Mullen, T. R., 225, 226 Myths, industrial, 224-229 N National Association of Manufac- turers, 144, 202 Index 301 National Association of Science Teachers, 174 National Education Association Jour- nal, 53 National Industrial Advertising Asso- ciation, 262 Nations Business, 53 Nee, Raymond M., 257 Neff, Walter H., 225 Nelson, Charles, 113 New Haven Railway Company, 249 New product, introducing, 52, 191 press kits on, 192-194 press showing for, 194-195 story of, 279-281 New York Herald Tribune, 48 New York Post Syndicate, 44 New York Publishers Association, 47 New York Times, 48, 278 Newark airport, closing of, 255- 256 News, accidental, 1 of accidents and disasters, 249- 251, 255-256 incidental, 1 on labor troubles, 251-252 planned, 2 as publicity, 1-3 sources of, 10-35 in speeches, 75-76 News releases, contents of, 87-90 datelines in, 85 headings in, 85-86 identification in, 83-84 subheads and symbols in, 86-87 variants of, 90-92 News services, feature and photo, 44-45 wire, 41-44 Newspapers, chains of, 40-41 in community relations, 230-233 daily, 37-38 departments of, 38-40 editors of, 38-40 Newspapers, foreign-language, 37 Sunday supplements, 49-50 weekly, 46-48 Newsreels, 145-149 Newsweek, 50-51 Newsweeklies, national, 50-53 No-budget program of public rela- tions, 219-221 O Oil, Paint, and Drug Reporter, 53 Oilways, 187 Old products, publicity on, 213-214 (See also Historical publicity) Open house in plants, 238-240 Oscar-of-Industry awards by Finan- cial World, 247 Pamphlets, 164-177 clearance of, 172 design of, 170-172 educational, 173-175 employee-information, 175-177 printing of, 173 writing of, 167-170 Parade, 48 Past history (see Historical public- ity) Pendray, G. Edward, 199 People, in photographs, 108-111 publicity on, 27-28, 215-216 in television and radio programs, 135, 138 Perry Newspapers, 40 Philadelphia Inquirer, 48 Photo sendees, 44-45 hiring, 116-118 Photographers, 112-113 amateur, 116-117 fake, 118-119 professional, 1 1 7- 1 1 S 302 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Photographs, captions for, 126 cropping, 114-115 imagination in, 112-114 old, 122-123 presentation of, 122-123, 125- 126 subjects for, 108-112, 115-116 use of, 120 Photography, 108-126 color, 123-124 industrial, 108-118 journalistic, 119-122 services for, 44-45, 116-118 technique of, 113-116 Picture magazines, 63 Plants (see Factories) Policy for publicity, 11-12 Political influence in community re- lations, 228-229 Poor Richard's Almanack, 179 Popular Mechanics, 59 Popular Science Monthly, 59 President as spokesman, 17-19 Press (see Newspapers) Press conference, 92-95 for speakers, 76 Press kits, 192-194 Press shows, 194-195 Prestige, 289 for company, 282-285 for counsel, 285-286 Processes, publicity on, 26-27 Producer, moving-picture, 153-154 Product publicity, 29-30, 279-281 historical, 213-214 new (see New product) on television, 136-138 (See also Exhibits) Production departments as sources, 25-28 Production Methods, 53 Products, faulty, 253-255 new (see New product) Projects, community, 244-246 Prudential Family, 186 Public reaction to publicity, 8-9 Public relations, compared with pub- licity, 4-6 as news sources, 10-12 Public-relations counsel (see Coun- sel) Public Relations Society of America, 172 Public speaking (see Speaking) Publicity, and advertising, 3-5, 260 costs of, 260-267 (See also Budget) definition of, 4-6 departments handling, 261 evaluation of, 278-282 historical sources of, 206-216 and industry, 6-8 institutional, 29-30 product (see Product publicity) public reaction to, 8-9 and public relations, 4-6 Publicity men, activities of, 8-9 relations with minor employees, 33-34 Publicity Record, 186 Purchasing, 53 Pyrene Manufacturing Company, 254 Quadland, H. P., 245 R Radio, speeches on, 77-79 (See also Television and radio) Randall, Clarence, 101 Reader's Digest, 59, 102 Reference books, 68 Religious magazines, 57-58 Research departments as sources, 20- 22 Results of publicity, 34-35, 278- 282 Index 303 Retailing Daily, 53 Rexall Drug, Inc., 186 Riggs, Eddie, 249 Rockland County Journal-News, 257 Rosenthal, Joseph, 109 Rotarian Magazine, 59 Rouge News, 180 Rural New Yorker, 55 Salaries in public relations, 268-269 Sales, percentage of, spent for adver- tising, 262-264 Sales departments as sources, 28-30 Saturday Evening Post, 59, 102, 202 Saugus, Mass., first ironworks at, 144, 210 Scholastic, 58 Schools, community relations with, 234, 243-244 Science Clubs of America, 244 Science Service, 45, 174 Scientific American, 53 Scripps-Howard Newspapers, 40, 41, 212 Script, motion-picture, 156 Shawinigan Journal, 189 Sheet Metal Worker, 53 Shows (see Exhibits) Slides, 156-160 Sloan, Alfred P., Jr., 247 Smith, Weston P., 246 Smoke, Stephen D., 186 Southern Agriculturalist, 55 Speakers, coaching of, 72-73 in community relations, 241-243 sources of, 71, 80-82 Speakers' bureau, 79-82 Speaking, difficulties of, 69-70 opportunities for, 71-72 Speeches, arrangements for, 73-75 as articles, 103-104 audiences for, 77-82 preparation of, 72-73 Spokesmen, as authors, 101-102 for companies, 17-19 Springfield Republican, 199 Standard Oil Company (N. J.), 178, 211 Standard Oil Company of Ohio, 47 Standard Rate & Data Service, 104 Statistics as sources, 24-25 Steelways, 178, 187 Sterling Drug, Inc., 253 Strikes and lockouts, public relations in, 251-252 Studebaker Corporation, 228 Sunday supplements, 49-50 System, 179 Technical magazines, 53 Telephone conversations, 37 Television and radio, 127-141 in community relations, 233 contacts in, 128-130 moving pictures on, 143-145 programs, institutional, 133-134 sustaining, 134-135 as publicity medium, 135-141 speeches on, 77-79 syndicated material for, 140-141 writing for, 130-133 Textile World, 53 This Week, 48-49 Tide, 255 Time, 50-51 Time capsule, 199-200 Trade shows, 197-199 Traveling exhibits, 200 True, 59 U United Air Lines, 255 United Press, The, 41 Special Services, 45 United States Stool Corporation. 260 304 Publicity for Prestige and Profit Verity Day at Middletown, Ohio, 206 Visits to plants, 233-240 W Wallace, De Witt, 60 Wallace s Farmer, 55 Wedding, Prof. Nugent, 261 Western Newspaper Union, 47 Westinghouse, George, 212 Westinghouse Electric Corporation, 66, 105, 141, 155, 224, 228 Who's Who in America, 64 Wide World Photo Service, 45 Willys, John N., 212 Window displays, 202-203 Woman's Day, 187 Woman's Home Companion, 55 World War II, 21, 64, 109, 150, 248, 264 Wright, Hamilton, 148 Writing, magazine articles, 99-103 pamphlets, 167-170 for television and radio, 130-133 Young America, 58 Yutzy, Thomas D., 219-221 d Due Date Returned Due Due Returns 7; ***2 3 > J9 NfiV 1 A »M n v v * « *f y ^#^fb nov 1 1 logo 4/fli/ j " 0V ^S 198s Krt)<&,tf2d lUu. l,iaii ' / OFrt P ! too* utu w -* nui ,jS> ff \ Publicity for prestige and pro jour 659.1S836p 3 12b2 0323S DfilD JOURNALISM & COMM.